‘There Is Infinite Enrichment in Perishing’

Leo Vroman was the sort of poet who seemed to have been around forever and promised to go on for just as long. When I learned to read as a child, a volume of his collected poems entitled Gedichten 1946-1984 (Poems 1946-1984) had recently been published to mark his seventieth birthday. When I first became…

Creationette

Lord, could I only squeeze You down to a gesture on my hand, give You all the fuzz, the buzz bees, beads and kittle-kittenese, and You would weave them into one strand.. I’d close my fingers around You and loving Your tickles while You do Your Thing, I would have kissed, gently, the outside of…

The Last World Peace

What is a great conflict about? Look tonight long and dead dead silent out among the stars back to this little earth and nothing will stay great. What really stays from afar of our great self-esteem? Nothing in eternity to fight for so it seems and what else is the use of war? myself, once…

Seven Poems

The Bird I was drinking tea on midmeadow. The sun sparkled in the saucers. Small birds crumbled their crumbs and fluttered at me. The wrought-iron table was warm, and wobbled as I took a cookie. The birdies said their tuts and teehees and brushed their lips on my arm (one-two) before hopping away. The mushy…

The Delicacy of a Rain Forest

About the Poetry of Leo Vroman Leo Vroman’s collected poems (Collected Poems 1946-1984 – Gedichten 1946-1984), published in one volume in 1985, amount to over 1,000 pages; but the collection is far removed from any notion of an ornate tombstone on a productive life. Four new volumes of original Dutch poetry have since seen the…

Resting on Doubt

The editorial board of If I knew anything, I would no longer do it. If I knew what follows death, I would probably never die or else not live to finish this sentence. But as I grow older and get closer to the dark, I begin to spew more and more messages in all aspects…

For the Reader

Printed letters I will show You here but of my warm lips no living speech and from this text no hand will reappear. What can I do? I find You out of reach. Oh, could I comfort You, then I could cry. Come, give Your hand this page, my skin; soften the petrifying print that…