February 2020

Yttje Cnossen was the RIXT poet of the  month February 2020. You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Corona’ – is published below.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar



from the land of the rising dragon
comes sneakily like a thief in the night
the invisible in the name of the crown
lays its hand on many a doorknob

like a monster with a thousand heads
it shoots its fiery arrows across the land
picks up like the wind across the sea
throws its drowning victims on the beach

flees with the rebels through the cities
sends wild warriors across the lands
drops its cluster bombs from a virus
in pets and people in fathers and mothers

whomever gives way he apprehends
paints their grey cheeks red
makes the blood in their veins boil
remains a mystery keeps him to himself

via Spain and Germany it snatches a Belgian
a man shivers a woman goes down
young people are a leaf for its mouth
everybody is rowing while tethered to the ground

where is the knight to slay this monster
with a serum as their double-bladed sword
that will release the people of their fear and fever
that will bite the fire breathing dragon in its tail

© Yttje Cnossen
Translation: Trevor M. Scarse


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