Ode - J. Slauerhoff


Life has been fiercely good.
Mine I frantic'ly made
From everflowing plenitude:
No way to evade.

But before long I'm outworn
By a life this coarse,
Like the numbness from flowers born,
Like the women who force

for loyalty, to love, through lust.
O! every caress,
A mournful lament it is just,
For a bliss that's angel-blessed.

No relief in bodies céleste;
Nakedness most pure
Is nothing but radiant protest
For greater grandeur

But from this siren's song
At long last I'll be freed
And, smiling, a centuries-long
Dream life I'll lead.

In the empty desert I'd seen
Ever a fata morgana
Where a land of bliss should've been.
Receive me, Nirvana!

Ode - J. Slauerhoff

translation by Bob Reus, 2022