Thursday, September 3, 2015

Swansong: The presentation in den Hopsack packed to the rafters

Finally the day came of the presentation of Rose Vandewalle's Zwanenzang/Swansong came. The day before, Jean Demey who was going to lay while Viv who read the Dutch text and I would read. Of course I read the English version since it is my translation. The only thing Jean asked was that I read the 33 poems calm and sober, leave five counts between the different poems. So at the evening Jean brought his black and shiny contrabass guitar and installed himself between the two readers a bid behind them. I loved what he did: a bit Ravi Shankar and a lot of Jean, but intimate, withheld, sober as he  had told me to read. Viv is a different person she taught in the Lemmen's Institute speech and diction. She would accentuate certain words, and thus created a different flow. Being on the stage I have no pictures to show... But the audience was quiet, listened and appreciated the introduction of Bert Jans from Dodo Press and the flow of Rose's work in the music and the different ways of reading. A friend, Bart Stouten was so sweet: he explained me why my translations into English are good. He said he felt I questioned the words at a deeper level in both languages and thus would find a better match between them. I must admit I was a bit flattered... The evening was warm and caring and every one had a good time.


  1. I love your exquisite translations, Annmarie. I always read your translation first, only then the original.

  2. Thank you Bart, you're quiete exquisite yourself