With a Poet’s Eye

A Few Dutch Poems on Dutch Paintings No painting is safe from Dutch Poets. In fact, the writing of poems based on paintings seems to have become a national sport. From a reader’s perspective, picture-poems distinguish themselves from all other poems in one very important way: the poem’s source of inspiration, whether it be sculpture,…

Five poems by Luuk Gruwez

Fat People Fat people know everything about love, up to the remotest corners of their body, the catacombs of their own flesh. Their belly is the foreign country where they live, continuously yearning for the slimmest waists that make their mouths water like pastry. Nobody is more sincerely sad, so cheerfully mournful in those distant…

Fat People II

They can play such silly games with their flesh that preys on cotton candy or on gingerbread, up to their last kilo of ridicule searching for all the sweets of love. Their body is not their own. Each small surplus is a great lack. But if they strip the rind off of their soul, they…

The Poet in the Mixer

The Work of Breyten Breytenbach The South African poet and artist Breyten Breytenbach (1939-) once said that he wrote in a ‘bastard language’, ‘Afrikaans.’ Nowadays he publishes mostly in English, having turned his back on the Afrikaans literary establishment which once showered him with prizes and accolades. In his uneasiness with his own cultural heritage…