I dreamt I slowly lived
Much slower than the most ancient stone.
It was a nightmare: all around me
Everything got on, shuddering and shaking,
What seems still. I saw the urge with which
The trees wrest free from the earth
Singing in a hoarse and jerking voice;
And seasons flew away
As coloured rainbows
I saw the tremor of the sea,
Its swelling and its hurried falling,
Like the gulping of a thirsty throat
And day and night were but a second
Flaming and put out again: a wavering fire.
- Despair and eloquence
In gestures of things that are
Usually stiff, and the wrestling,
This breathless, cruel strife
How could I not see this before,
Not see more clearly, in earlier days?
How can I ever forget again?
Translation from the Dutch
By Leny Roovers