Judith Herzberg
(Pays-Bas, 1934)

La Poésie en ce temps
Qui nous sommes
Une asbl, pour quoi faire ?
31 mars - 2 avril 2017
15-17 avril 2016
24-26 avril 2015
25-27 avril 2014
12-14 avril 2013
20-22 avril 2012
01-03 avril 2011
23-25 avril 2010
24-26 avril 2009
11 mars 2009
18-20 avril 2008


Judith Herzberg is a celebrated poet and playwright. She made her debut in the 1960s as a poet and has been writing and translating drama and screenplays since the early 1970s. For the volume Botshol (1981) she received the Jan Campert Prize; for her oeuvre she has been awarded the Joost van den Vondel Prize (1984), the Constantijn Huygens Prize (1994) and the highly prestigious P.C. Hooft Award for her poetry (1997). A recent paperback anthology of her poems Doen en laten, published in 1994, has been on the bestseller list since then.



What She Meant to Paint

She paints what she cannot swallow
cannot claim can’t explain.
She paints what she can’t stay put
doesn’t follow stay
the same. She paints what she
cannot plant cannot tame
forget about. She paints
what she cannot guess or get
or figure out. What she can’t
embrace or break can’t
blame. Let slide
run wild. Chop down
or tear. Incinerate.
Repair. She paints
what makes her sleepless
what she can’t recall
in colour, not at all. What she can’t
sing of cannot praise.
The itch of blankness
blankly stays.

(Translated from Dutch by Shirley Kaufman)