September 2020

Peter Vermaat was the RIXT poet of the  month September 2020. You can read his original Dutch poem of that month – ‘Ode to the storyteller’ – here. The translation is published below.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar


Ode to the storyteller

                            for mindert wijnstra

he makes fluid what had been discarded
congealed in the bin of time for years
he can resurrect the ladies of the sea
knows where the devil dances in the dark

put on top of a horse by an old pack rat
he leads you into the forest of imagination
where the white lady restyles herself
light he sees, yet it chafes with the bodach

born and raised in a village the heath 
caused an uproar with foresters aiming rifle
that’s the birthplace of a great storyteller

as a teacher he knew how to form everyone
let the children dream beyond fish and cattle
now the sky brings setbacks and sorrows

© Peter Vermaat
Translation: Trevor M. Scarse

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