20 min

is a puppet in the footlights.

The opera ends.

Nature breathes once more.

Night is square and awake.

Last night, on the Lijnbaan...

...I saw a very peculiar old-fashioned sailor,

as if looking for something... if being looked for.

It is today, I'm tired.

The city flows right through me.

It is today, and I'm alive.

The city is a great peaceful number...

...of people, of cubic meters,

of distances, heights and widths.

Of ships, tons and profits of cars,

courses and deaths... one hour hundreds of deaths.

The city is a great peaceful number.

This city I saw burning.

This city I saw building.

Bliss is a word,

but a city is a tool.

Say Weena, say Spangen.

Say Kralingen, Crooswijk.

Say Feyenoord, Dijkzicht.

Say Oud Mathenesse.

Say hundreds of names.

Say city on the river Maas.

Say port of Europe.


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Gerrit Kouwenaar

Gerrit Kouwenaar (9 August 1923 – 4 September 2014) was a Dutch journalist, translator, poet and prose writer. He was first published in 1941. He was a member of the Dutch poetry group known as the Vijftigers. Kouwenaar worked for magazines and newspapers such as Vrij Nederland, De Waarheid, and Het Vrije Volk. During the mid-1940s, he worked for the illegal newspaper Parade der Profeten. He was arrested for this and sentenced to half a year in jail. Kouwenaar was awarded the Martinus Nijhoff Prize in 1967 for his translation work. In 1970, he was given the P. C. Hooft Award. Kouwenaar later won the 1989 Dutch Literature Prize. In 2009, the Society of Dutch Literature named Kouwenaar the recipient of its annual honor. His last published work was released on 9 August 2008, Kouwenaar's eighty-fifth birthday.Kouwenaar was born in Amsterdam, North Holland. He was a resistance fighter during World War II. The painter and poet David Kouwenaar (1921–2011) was his older brother. Kouwenaar died on 4 September 2014 in Amsterdam, aged 91. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Rotterdam-Europoort" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Jun 2020. <>.

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