Thursday, November 11, 2010

Memory of Holland

As I've written before my contribution to 'Mooi is dat!' is my visual interpretation of the beautiful poem 'Memory of Holland' by Hendrik Marsman. It was written in 1936 and describes the beauty but also the threat of the Dutch landscape and nature. The poem was chosen as the most popular one of the 20th century.
DenkendaanHolland.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Memory of Holland

Thinking of Holland
I see wide-flowing rivers
slowly traversing
infinite plains,
rarefied poplars
like lofty plumes
on the skyline in lanes;
and submerged in the vastness
of unbounded spaces
the farmhouses
strewn over the land,
tree clumps, villages,
truncated towers,
churches and elm trees -
all wondrously planned.
the sky hangs low
and slowly the sun by
mists of all colours
is stifled and greyed
and in all the regions
the voice of the water
with its endless disasters
is feared and obeyed.

When I read the poem I could recognize the wideness and beauty of the Dutch landscape, but I also felt the threat in Marsman's words, growing and growing with every strophe. I have tried to translate that feeling in the imagery and colours of my artwork.
In the last strophe Marsman describes the danger of the water that is everywhere. There it became even more interesting for me. Because Marsman and his wife fled from France by boat at the beginning of the Second Worldwar. But their ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and Marsman died, swallowed by... the water.
That's why I have drawn a small story in the margin where you can see Marsman's last minutes. Finally the two stories come together 'in water'.

If you're interested in a signed print of this work (size 28,5 x 40,0 cm), prize 20,- euro's (shipping costs not included), please send me an email:

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