De Dapperstraat

De Dapperstraat

For those of you who have never visited Amsterdam, you are probably not familiar with the Dapperstraat. This is a famous street in Amsterdam. The Dutch writer J.C. Bloem wrote a poem about this beautiful street.

As part of the Dapperbuurt (part of Amsterdam), the Dapperstraat (where straat stands for street), is the most famous street of the eastern part of Amsterdam. The name was derived from Olfert Dapper. Well, there is some debate about this being the most famous street though. Because the Albert Cuypstraat is according to some the most important street in this part of the city.


About the poet

J.C. Bloem (born as Jakobus Cornelis (Jacques) Bloem on May 10 1887 (diseased Augusts 10 1966) was inspired to write a beautiful (Dutch) poem about this street in Amsterdam. He was a great admirer of Charles Baudelaire. True, there is still some debate if Bloem was on the wrong side at the time of the Second World War. When this is true, the contradiction with this beautiful poem is so great.

De Dapperstraat


The English translation

The Dapperstraat


By J.C. Bloem


Nature is for now content or empty
And then: what is nature to this country?
A piece of forest, the size of a magazine,
a hill with villas that lean (against).


Give me the gray, city roads,
The quays in riveted shoreline,
The clouds, never so beautiful when they are, rimmed
by windows of the attics, moving along the air.


Everything is much for those not expecting much.
Life holds its wonders hidden
Till it shows them, in all mighty state.


This I thought to myself,
rained away on a drizzling morning,
Perfectly happy, in the Dapperstraat.

The Dutch original version:

De Dapperstraat

Door J.C. Bloem


Natuur is voor tevredenen of legen.
En dan: wat is natuur nog in dit land?
Een stukje bos, ter grootte van een krant,
Een heuvel met wat villaatjes ertegen.


Geef mij de grauwe, stedelijke wegen,
De in kaden vastgeklonken waterkant,
De wolken, nooit zo schoon dan als ze, omrand
Door zolderramen, langs de lucht bewegen.


Alles is veel voor wie niet veel verwacht.
Het leven houdt zijn wonderen verborgen
Tot het ze, opeens, toont in hun hoge staat.


Dit heb ik bij mijzelve overdacht,
Verregend, op een miezerige morgen,
Domweg gelukkig, in de Dapperstraat.



Do you want to read more from J.C. Bloem? Take a look at these titles below.

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