Featured Poem

First Night

Earth, a virtuous body has now arrived.
An overwhelming sun rose in it once,
Its eyes shone brightly like a long July,
A breath of mellow twilight filled its lungs,
A spellbound moon traversed its breast.

The palms of its hands felt water and stroked pets.
The soles of its feet kissed beaches and rocks. Insight.
A strange insight formed in its head, its tongue
Grew sharp, its fingers found the fists they held,
It fought for bread, for money, honours, light and sex.

You can read an awful lot of books about it.
You can even write your own. Earth, don’t be hard
On this man who had at least a hundred keys,
But not a map or compass for this blind path,
And now has come to spend his first night here.

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About the translation:
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Menno Wigman
David Colmer
Original language:
2013 Number 1 - Strange Tracks

About the author

Original poet

Menno Wigman

Menno Wigman is regarded as one of the most interesting poets of his generation. Critics sometimes call him ‘the dandy of desi...

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David Colmer

David Colmer translates Dutch literature. He has won a number of translation prizes, including the PEN Translation Prize for h...

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