july

The best thing about this month is not
the dark blue in her brief nights

but her adolescent acting out when looking
for the right pose she raises her drowsy
eyes and through her verdant lashes
stares straight into the sun.

July is the spring that uncoils
like a tomcat in tall grass.

He enjoys this, knows he’s being watched
and does it all over again.

Juli // July

Het mooiste aan deze maand is niet
het donkerblauw in haar korte nachten

maar haar puberale aanstellerij als ze op zoek
naar de juiste pose haar slaapdronken ogen
opslaat en door haar wimpers van loof
recht de zon in kijkt.

Juli is de springveer die zich als een kater
uitrekt in het hoge gras.

Hij geniet ervan, weet dat hij toeschouwers
heeft en doet het nog een keer.

 

—from Max Temmerman’s third collection 8 ways to Sunday (Zondag 8 Dagen, Antwerp: Vrijdag Publishers, 2015). Author’s website: www.maxtemmerman.be. Translations by Willem Groenewegen, 2016-17.

Max Temmerman (1975) made his debut as a poet in 2011 with the volume Fatherland (Vaderland), immediately nominated for that year’s debut poetry collection award The C. Buddingh’-prize. His second volume ‘Almost an America’ (Bijna een America) appeared in 2013 which was both awarded the Herman de Coninck Public prize and was shortlisted for the Jo Peeters Poetry prize 2014 and the J.C. Bloem prize 2015. His website: www.maxtemmerman.be (all in Dutch)

Willem Groenewegen (b. 1971) studied English literature in Groningen and Manchester. He has been a professional poetry translator since 2001. In 2007 he was shortlisted for the Popescu Prize for Rutger Kopland’s ‘What Water Left Behind’. He translated a volume of selected poems by Arjen Duinker and also contributed to a Dirk van Bastelaere selection and to the anthology ‘In a Different Light’. He recently translated some 70 poems into Dutch for the Flanders Fields museum anthology ‘The Written War’. Willem Groenewegen also translates short stories and essays for art books.

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