DICHTER

Laurens van der Zee

 

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LAURENS
van der
ZEE

DICHTER

PAKKETJES

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POET

In 2012, 2013 and 2014 I am the official city-poet of Wageningen

Note for this English-language version:
I write in my native language, Dutch. The Dutch-language version of this website carries a great deal of my poetry under the heading of “Dichter”. There, too, I offer visitors the opportunity to order more of my poetry and prose work either in the digital version via e-mail or as a printed booklet delivered by regular mail. Some of my work has been translated into English and Dutch. You can find a few examples of English translations below. Once time and budget allow, more translated pieces will appear on this website and will also be available in book form.
Finally: if any visitor to this site is interested in the Dutch language and perhaps has a question or two about it, please do not hesitate to contact me: info@laurensvanderzee.nl

Aim

The main aim of this website is to make my poetry and prose better known. In this way I hope to generate more work for myself – sale of published works, poetry readings, performances as a writer, commissions to work on texts, lyrics, editorial work, ideas. The same applies to my other activities inspired by the Muses. More about that elsewhere on this website.
The umbrella organisation for these creative activities is the Muzemakers V.O.F. partnership (together with Anneke Rot). See www.muzemakers.com.

Text installations

I present my work in various forms. Not only do I do readings from my own works and publish in various magazines and other publications, but I also work on ‘text installations’. I use this term for the form involving presentation of my poems or prose in space – for instance, as part of a figurative art route: an aphorism with letters carved in a lead plate, anagrams hand-written on a board in an alley (Kunst Kijken in Monnickendam), a cyclical text in fragments, each fragment written on laminated card and spread in a circle in a field, or a mock text purporting to describe a natural phenomenon in formal Historic Monuments style next to an open-air art work (the 2003 and 2004 Veldwerk exhibitions respectively in the Schaalsmeerpolder).

Publishing house


From 2003 till 2010 figurative artist Mirjam Janse and I had our own publishing house, Uitgeverij Nestor, so that we could combine art and textual works. All our publications have been in Dutch.

 

Prose and poetry

Below are a few examples of my prose and poetry, translated into English by Michael Collins (mjcollins@wxs.nl). Within my project Poetry around the world some of my texts were translated into English by Kate Simms and on January 31st, 2008, presented in the public library of Wageningen. All translations within this project can be seen on www.verbalissimo.com/wageningen. The English version and an explanation of the project can be seen here.

DRAW A TREE. DRAW A BIRD.

Woodland. Flawless. A single dead tree like on a First World War battlefield.
And, of course, there’s a bird sitting on the single branch, close to the trunk.
As if he were donating his soul to the tree.

Draw your tree.
Draw your bird.

TEKEN JE BOOM. TEKEN JE VOGEL

Bos. Puntgaaf. Eén dode boom als op een slagveld van de Eerste Wereldoorlog.
Uitgerekend op die ene tak zit een vogel, dicht bij de stam.
Alsof hij zijn ziel aan de boom geeft.

Teken je boom.
Teken je vogel.

UNDERPRIVILEGED BACK OF HEAD

The underprivileged back of the head
sits with a lunchbox
in the city park looking at the fountain.

The most beautiful women pass by
but he doesn’t look: he knows he was born underprivileged
with a one hundred percent chance of dying that way.

KANSARM ACHTERHOOFD

Kansarm achterhoofd
zit met een pakkie brood
in het Vondelpark naar de fonteinen te kijken.

De mooiste vrouwen passeren
hij kijkt niet hij weet ‘t
van dat ie kansarm geboren is
met honderd procent kans van zo te sterven.

ANOTHER ODE TO MY WIFE

These are the best ones: those who are automatically saints.
My wife – she’s incapable of anything else.
She offers me her snacks, and drink,
as if I’ve had nothing
and she bathes in the sufficiency.
How holy – your hips,
your laugh, your warm mouth!

No, I can never get enough!

ALWEER EEN ODE AAN MIJN VROUW

Dit zijn de besten: Die automatisch heilig zijn.
Mijn vrouw – zij kan niet anders.
Zij biedt mij van haar hapjes aan, en drank,
alsof ik niets gehad heb
en zij baadt in ’t genoeg.
Oh heilige – uw heupen,
uw lach, uw warme mond!

Nee, nooit heb ik genoeg!

DELFT

I’m preparing to leave for Delft.
it’s a long way
but I’m expected.

The furthest towns are
where there’s no-one.

DELFT

Ik maak mij op om naar Delft te gaan.
Dat is ver
maar ik word verwacht.

De verste steden zijn
waar niemand is.

DAD WENT OFF A-HUNTING

Dad went off a-hunting. He bought a dog, a shotgun and a hat and went off out. It didn’t work out all that well: all he hit was the dog.
His comment: Look, I’m an absolute beginner, so obviously it won’t be one hundred per cent as you’d like it.
OK, a new dog is expensive, but I always buy the cheapest. That’s number one.
Second: If you can shoot reasonably well, the dog’ll last three outings for sure.
And anyway: it’s my leisure time, not the dog’s.

VADER IS GAAN JAGEN

Vader is gaan jagen. Hij heeft een hond gekocht, een geweer en een hoed en is op stap gegaan. Het lukt echter niet zo best, het enige dat hij raakt is de hond.
Zijn commentaar: Kijk, ik ben pas begonnen, dus is het logisch dat het niet honderd procent gaat zoals je wilt.
Goed, het is duur, een nieuwe hond, maar ik neem altijd de goedkoopste. Dat is één.
Ten tweede: Als je een beetje redelijk schiet gaat ie zeker drie keer mee.
En per slot gaat het om mijn ontspanning, niet om die van de hond.

THE WHITE SCIENTISTS PLAN
(still to do)

Set up a company that rents out scientists for you to take for a walk.
“ Walk-a-Scientist Inc.”
“ Fun for you – we do the work”
Lots of distribution points all over the city, so that you can drop off your scientist anywhere you want without having to return him to the original pick-up point.
It was, in fact, the lack of distribution points that spelt the end for the Amsterdam Provos’ White Bicycles plan.

HET WITTE GELEERDENPLAN
(nog doen)

Firma oprichten die geleerden verhuurt om mee te wandelen.
“ Walk-a-Scientist B.V.”
“ U de lusten wij de lasten”
Veel afhaalpunten verspreid over de stad, zodat je je geleerde ergens anders kunt afgeven en niet helemaal terug hoeft te brengen.
Op gebrek aan distributiepunten is namelijk het Witte Fietsenplan van de Provo’s stukgelopen.

(Monolingual bonus)

SUMMERTIME

Summertime.
Tits everywhere.

 

 

2007,2008 laurens van der zee, alle rechten voorbehouden. ontwerp Armand Haye