TASP – dinsdagmiddagpoëzie

(TASP = Tuesday Afternoon Science Poetry. Explanation here.)

Het is weer dinsdag, de hoogste tijd voor een nieuw gedicht. Deze heb ik gevonden via Laurens Jz. Coster, een vrijwilligersproject dat zo veel mogelijk klassieke Nederlandstalige literatuur via internet wil verspreiden. Ik ben al jaren geabonneerd op de email-lijst: elke dag een Nederlands gedicht, plus vaak een citaat en links naar taalnieuws, samengesteld door Raymond Noë. Kijk hier hoe je je kunt aanmelden.

Vlaamse gaai

Een groene pluim tussen de coniferen
krijgt plots een knik en veert verschrikt omlaag.
Dan zit een vogel fel en vinnig op de haag
en speurt het pad af langs de tuinheksperen.

Geen prooi beweegt, hoe hij ook loert en spiedt.
Alleen druipt overal de trage najaarsregen.
Daar schiet hij tjekkerend de hoge beuken tegen
en scheldt zijn hoon om zoveel schijnverdriet.

Want muizen zijn er, wormen, kakkerlakken.
Maar met een huilgezicht schudt elke twijg van: neen.
Hij krijst van woede uit de beukentakken.

En koldert, driftig pikkend om zich heen
en zweert: ik krijg dat tuig vandaag nog wel te pakken.
Dan merkt hij plots verrast een nagel aan zijn teen.

Jan H. de Groot (1901-1990)
uit: Botsing (1937)


  1. Who

    congratulations on the move to wordpress

    This is a sonnet—still an elegant and living form after 7 centuries.
    Maybe it is the only sonnet in the world which rhymes the excellent Dutch word KAKKERLAKKEN

    You may be pleased to learn that the mixed language called PAPIAMENTU spoken on the island of BONAIRE in the Netherland Antilles has preserved this word. they say “Kakkalakka” for cockroach.

    Papiamentu is a mixture of some African and Caribbean languages with Dutch, Spanish, and English—–they took what they thought were the best words out of each.

  2. Who

    Florine, I think this bird is a Flemish hawk—or some other kind of raptor. And his wife (the Hoon) is hungry and she is giving him a kind of gloomy, discouraged look (Schijnverdriet)

    So he scolds her for so much Schijnveriet and points out that even if there are no visible gourmet delicacies to catch at the moment (Geen prooi beweegt)
    on the other hand there ARE plenty of ordinary prey like mice, worm, beetle.

    This shows he is a practical bird, and cheerful. these kinds of bird usually get along OK.

    no knowing Dutch, there is a limit to my appreciation for this sonnet. If you have anything you would like to explain, or anybody else does, I would be grateful for any help.

    I like sonnets.

    this one I think is slightly irregular pentameter—–mostly pentameter.


    Florine, please make a KEPLER THREAD.

    MARCH 8 is the day that Kepler, as he himself wrote, discovered the THIRD LAW

    this was the first really sophisticated algebraic law of nature (and may have been inspired partly by the Scot, John Napier, logarithms)

    the latin word SESQUI means one-and-one-half and kepler, in Latin, said that the SESQUIPOTENTIAL proportion of the distance

    We should honor Kepler because he changed the nature of spacetime (as Renate Loll at Utrecht is also trying to do)

    Before Kepler, spacetime was made of smooth transparent crystal spheres, mostly concentric and rolling inside each other.

    After Kepler, spacetime was made of ALGEBRA and stuff like ellipses and three-halves powers.

    If Renate Loll would succeed, then it would be a foam of little pyramid building blocks.

    Only those who honor their antecedents will themselves, in turn, deserve honor.

    You should tell Renate Loll that on 8 March she should take off her hat, if she wears a hat, and think about algebra a little, in honor of Kepler.

    We all should. He was a great guy. Florine, please start a Kepler thread. I will find some quotes to put in the thread, from his 1618 book called The Harmony of the World (Harmonice Mundi).

  3. I’m afraid your Dutch knowledge is failing you slightly….
    According to my dictionary, “Vlaamse gaai” is translated as Flemish jay. It is a bird, indeed. However, “hij scheldt zijn hoon” does not mean that he curses someone who happens to be his ‘hoon’, because “hoon” is scorn. He curses his scorn (not sure this is proper english) because of the large amount of “schijnverdriet”, that is, fake sorrow. This refers to the “trage najaarsregen”, slow autumn rain, which is the only movement he sees. He knows there *are* mice, worms and cockroaches (but he cannot see them) and all the twigs just shake their tearful heads: ‘no’.

    As for the Kepler-thread… I don’t know, maybe. Of course, you could always start your own blog and start a discussion there! :-)

  4. Who

    failing me slightly is admittedly something of an understatement

    it is a major disaster when I try to guess Dutch without making sufficient use of babelfish or online dictionaries

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