Gerry van der Linden (Netherland)
Gerry van der Linden published her first book of poems, De Aantekening (The Note) in 1978 and her most recent one, Verse helden (Fresh heroes) in 2017. Certain characteristics of her work: a playful yet passionate approach to language, a keen eye for the absurdness in our daily lives, a thematic preference for travelling, love, death, life in all its senses.
Van der Linden teaches Poetry and Creative Writing at the Amsterdam School of Writing (Schrijversvakschool) and is a personal coach for (aspiring) writers. From 2005 until 2008 she was a member of the board of the Dutch PEN Center and took care of the WIPC (Writers in Prison Committee). Alongside her twelve collections of poetry to date, she has published three books of fiction. She also works as a visual artist, makes collages and creates installations of leftover materials.
Publications of Poetry
De aantekening (The Note), De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1978
Val op de rand (Fall on the Edge), Prometheus, Amsterdam, 1990
Aan mijn veren hand (At my Hand of Feathers), Nijgh & van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 1993
Zandloper (Sandglass), L.J. Veen, Amsterdam, 1997
Lila en de tekens (Lila and the Signs), Bèta Imaginations, Rotterdam, 1999
Uitweg (Way Out), L.J. Veen, Amsterdam, 2001
Goed volk (Good People), L.J. Veen, Amsterdam, 2004
Glazen jas (Coat of Glass), Nieuw Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 2007
Wat een geluk (What Happiness), Nieuw Amsterdam, Amsterdam. 2012
Stadswild (City’s prey), Nieuw Amsterdam, 2014
Een vreemdeling in Alentejo , (Uma estranha no Alentejo), Caminho das Palavras, Portugal 2016, poems in Dutch/Portugese, with photo’s + images of art objects made by the poet.
Verse helden (Fresh Heroes), Nieuw Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 2017.
Publications of prose:
Enveloppe (Envelop; novella), Amber, 1992
Wind (Wind; novel), Nijgh & van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 1995
Dolk (Dagger; novel), L.J. Veen, Amsterdam, 2000
Van der Linden’s poems have been translated and published in anthologies, reviews and books in Turkey, Bulgaria, China, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, Lebanon, Portugal, Macedonia and Slovenia.
Where the Pine Tree blooms
The head of the grubber
grows towards the earth, the earth
with its grandeur of productivity,
the scent of the chestnut, the head
that resembles the chestnut.
Where the houses are in their narrowness
and uniform, the chairs lined up,
the laundry clean and ironed straight,
the mower growling in the barn,
the violets winking on the watch.
Where everyone pushes his silence
into the empty shed of talk,
the grubber ground under feet,
the mother holds the tray in hand,
the tea lukewarm with lee.
Where I take steps across
heads, wood anemones.
Where the house awaits me, teeth
sharpened, has eaten the child,
the daughters and sons.
in my continent.
Rivers drown themselves
in their branches thrusts
On the shore sleeping has
stopped and the royal
outpost has been swept away
by a rebellious moon.
I did not kiss a water rat,
left fish the head, put on
top and finery, put out
the breakers with personal gear.
And then saw how beautiful
The thing called love
Throwing stones on waves
in circles at you, still
wanting to tell you, now
no answer, no move will do
Now seething rage splitting the words
on the same stone, the same rock
and hope, hope for what shivers
in clothes, stumbles on the doorstep
of reason in silent fight
the same stone, the same rock
bend and straight, backing out,
the healing gone, the fist up there
and kisses eating the soul, eating
the soul, I am telling you
unpretending, without pride
I have poured to the brim
an empty ocean.
Translated by Greta Colburn