Poetry: “No. 22″ by Lucas Hirsch

by Sampsonia Way    /  June 7, 2012  / 1 Comment

Lucas Hirsch is the author of two collections of poems, familie gebiedt (2006) and tastzin (2009). He is also a literary agent for the Flemish magazine DWB. In 2007, Lucas founded a small literary production company called ‘Kleine Revolutie Producties’ with which he organizes literary events around Haarlem. In 2011 he was artist-in-residence at Ledig House, Art Omi, New York.

Sampsonia Way is thrilled to share Hirsch’s previously unpublished poem “No. 22″ from his upcoming book Dolhuis: Natura Naturata (Madhouse: Natura Naturata) to be published by De Arbeiderspers. It was translated by Willem Groenewegen.

No. 22

Can you starve in a city of millions
without anybody noticing?

Today I met somebody
who was licking his finger

I can’t remember him

I sing a song of la-da-dee-la-dee-da
And what about the birds, poet?

They never had anything to do with poetry
They only fly to be on the move
The rest is fabricated by poets

This way I don’t mistake the chemical nature of love

The sea is no more than a wet manipulator
To and fro, here nor there, ebb and flow

How did it get this dark?

I unscrewed the light from its socket and hid it
in the kitchen drawer under the sink

See, no poetry at all
The hunger stays

Hirsch and other Dutch poets came to Pittsburgh by invitation of City of Asylum Pittsburgh. The event was presented in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s “Distinctively Dutch” festival, the Consulate General of the Netherlands, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Kleine Revolutie Producties, and Lira.

Watch Hirsch reading “No. 22″ in Dutch at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s event.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

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  1. Interview met Lucas Hirsch (deel 1): Dolhuis, poëten op planken en Amerika | Stille Suiker

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