Quote Poem on a Sungday


I know that love is spring.

The snow fell slow and monotone
as if saying … oh well, let’s get it over with.
It was much too late for the time of year,
there was green.

And while I was keeping you warm,
and held you in my arms,
there fell a large white flake
on our kiss.

That’s how things go with love,
snow falls on the fire,
The first time, it makes you jump,
but it grows on you eventually.

I love you, I love you,
a day, a year, a life.
I know that love holds lots of spring
but also bits of snow.

— Toon Hermans

Translations are hard, and translations of poems are particularly challenging. This one is by Toon Hermans, a Dutch cabaretier who also created other beauties such as “The tango of the little bare bum” and “Life is a croquette”.

Don’t look at me like that! He was Dutch, not Belgian. The Dutch have always been a bit… crazy.

But Toon Hermans also wrote some more intimate things and I particularly love this one – I’m not a professional translator, but I’ve tried to keep the atmosphere of the original as closely as I could. For those with some knowledge of Dutch ;), I’ve included the original version below.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to click through to Parce que c’est toi by Axelle Red – a Belgian, but highly undervalued in (at least the northern part) of the country: she received the title “Chevalier des Arts et Lettres” for her contribution to the French chanson… in France. Belgium managed to give her a Doctor Honoris Causa for her social engagement. Which has its merits too, obviously.
Ik weet dat liefde lente is.

De sneeuw viel traag en monotoom
zo van… nou ja, dan moet het maar.
Het was al veel te ver in ‘t jaar,
er was al groen.

En toen ik j’in mijn armen,
een beetje wilde warmen,
viel er een grote witte vlok
op onze zoen.

Zo gaat dat met de liefde,
de sneeuw valt op het vuur,
de eerste maal, dan schrik j’er van,
maar het went wel op den duur.

Ik hou van jou, ik hou van jou,
een dag, een jaar, een eeuw,
ik weet dat liefde lente is,
maar ook een beetje sneeuw.

— Toon Hermans

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