You see, I love you

You see I love you

Herman Gorter (1864-1927) is considered to be one of the most important Dutch poets of the nineteenth century. This time I translated the poem Zie je ik hou van je (You see, I love you).

About the poet

Gorter was one of the members of the group of poets who are known as De Tachtigers (The Eigthies). His debut was quite the work. The poem Mei (May) is still very famous. This poem sealed his faith as a great poet.

He was very much interested in a new political movement: socialism. He became the Dutch Sociaal-Democratische Arbeiderspartij (not to be confused with the national socialistic party of Adolf Hitler). His poem Pan that he wrote in 1912 was all about a global war, that eventually would lead to a socialist revolution. At the time the socialist movement decided to follow the steps taken by the Russian communists and changed the name of the party to Communist Party of Holland, he left this party (1919). He founded the Communist Wokers Party of Germany in 1921 in the German city Essen. Eventually he died in 1927 in the Belgian capitol Brussels.

About the poem

The poem You see, I love you is a typical example of how beautiful a love poem can be. With the upcomming Valentine’s Day, this might be a good one to consider!

The poem


You see, I love you

You see, I love you

By Herman Gorter


You see, I love you,
I think you are so sweet and so light
your eyes are so full of light
I love you, I love you


And your nose and your mouth and your hair
and your eyes and your neck, where
your collar is and your ear
covered by your hair


You see, it would be so dear

but i can’t be that,

the light that surrounds you, you are what

you are eventually


Oh yes, I love you, endlessly*

I love you so practically,

I wish I could say that,

But I this I’m not good at**


* Strict translated: I love you so much.
 ** Strict translated: But I cannot say this to you.


The original

Zie je ik hou van je

Door Herman Gorter

Zie je ik hou van je,
ik vin je zo lief en zo licht –
je ogen zijn zo vol licht,
ik hou van je, ik hou van je.
En je neus en je mond en je haar
en je ogen en je hals waar
je kraagje zit en je oor
met je haar er voor.


Zie je ik wou graag zijn
jou, maar het kan niet zijn,
het licht is om je, je bent
nu toch wat je eenmaal bent.


O ja, ik hou van je,
ik hou zo vrees’lijk van je,
ik wou het helemaal zeggen –
Maar ik kan het toch niet zeggen.


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