Peter Theunynck

(1960 / Eeklo)

Hippopotami - Poem by Peter Theunynck

They reside in palaces along the Seine.
People dim their chambers' lights.
People hardly dare to cough, people
gather heaps of statistics about them.

They are arrows on cross-reference cards,
lemmas in full-colour guides, pebbles
in the splashing streams of words,
a catch in an exam.

It is forbidden to touch them.
To wake them up. Don't talk,
they only speak dead languages.

That they have passed through hands,
through desert storms and graves, endure
the wars, is not the point right now.

Translation: Willem Groenewegen, 2010.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 3, 2017

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