Gerrit Achterberg--Dutch

 

    

GerritAchterberg

(1905-1962)

Gerrit Achterberg was born in 1905 in Langbroek, in The Netherlands. During his lifetime he published thirty collections of poetry, an anthology, four volumes of collected poems, and translations of his work. Meisje, a small volume of poetry appeared in an underground publication from the agris occupatis (the occupied land). Achterberg used surreal language and imagery in his writing. His work was instrumental in influencing a generation of post-World War II poets who became known as the Experimentalists. He is credited as for often coining new words and is viewed as a linguistic innovator. In his early 30s Achterberg’s life became very unstable. He became infatuated with his landlady and her daughter. He wound up shooting the landlady and served six years in a psychiatric hospital as a result. He died in 1962.

 

Battlefield

The twilight falls like ground.
In Holland walks a hound.
A hound with very long teeth.
He goes through all the lands
a large and very black hound.

We're scattered all around.
No longer with one another.
What bound us together
died between our teeth.

 
 
Translation by Cliff Crego