In a previous article, I covered two poems written by the Belgian poet Paul van Ostaijen. It isn’t the easiest task there is, to translate the work of this poet. This time I have taken it upon me to translate some other work this poet.
Sleep was a great inspiration for Van Ostaijen. Take for instance this poem:
Slaap als een reus
slaap als een roos
slaap als een reus van een roos
doe de deur dicht van de doos
Well, here comes the tricky part of translation. There are words in this poem that aren’t really or official Dutch words. They are corruptions of existing words. This makes the translation of this poem difficult. If I was to try, the poem would look like this:
Sleep as a giant
Sleep as a rose
sleep as a giant of a rose
Close the door to the box
I am asleep
Try to stay awake after reading Berceuse nr. 2. I will go on with even more of his work. His work evokes emotions. Maybe even strong emotions. Take the poem Fear.
de dans van de geworden dingen naar het
angst voor de Vlam
The translation of Angst (Fear) would look like:
the dance of the things to become
did not become
fear of the Flame
The word logos should not be confused with anything that has to do with logos of companies. This refers to the term in western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion. Wikipedia has the following information about this term:
It is a Greek word meaning “ground”, “plea”, “opinion”, “expectation”, “word”, “speech”, “account”, “reason”, “discourse”, but it became a technical term in philosophy beginning with Heraclitus (c. 535–475 BCE), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge. Logos is the logic behind an argument. Logos tries to persuade an audience using logical arguments and supportive evidence. Logos is a persuasive technique often used in writing and rhetoric.
There you have it, a very strong term, making this poem even more intense. I am now curious about your examples of strong poetry. Do you have any?
Interested in the works of van Ostaijen? Here are my tips. You can buy them online:
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The previous article about Paul van Ostaijen is also on this website. Click here to read this article.