Light Everywhere

Selected Poems

Cees Nooteboom

Cees Nooteboom

Distributed for Seagull Books

Translated by David Colmer
194 pages | 5 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $21.00 ISBN: 9780857421852 Published February 2014 World sales rights except India
Cees Nooteboom is best known in the English-speaking world for his acclaimed novels, essays, and travel writing; however, Nooteboom has always seen himself first and foremost as a poet. He has said, “without poetry my life would be unthinkable.”

Light Everywhere is a collection of poems, selected by Nooteboom himself from more than a dozen Dutch books. The poems are presented in reverse chronological order, reflecting the poet’s contemporary perspective on the productivity of more than half a century. The anthology covers his poetic output up to 2013, with an emphasis on his more recent work. New translations of older poems are crafted by award-winning translator David Colmer, lending consistent voice to the whole collection.

When Nooteboom began writing poetry in the Netherlands in 1956, he was considered an outcast for not abiding by the conventional experimental style popular at the time. Instead he took to learning from poets abroad, translating work by Wallace Stevens, Eugenio Montale, and Pablo Neruda. Nooteboom’s work is lucid and mysterious, evocative and elusive, and it is fitting that the collection begins and ends with poems of travel, moving back in time from an elderly man’s entanglement and resignation to the detachment and harsh light of youth, with everything in between.
Ron Slate | On the Seawall
"Light Everywhere is a much needed representation of Nooteboom’s poetry."
Contents

Light Everywhere (2012)

 

Light Everywhere:

Lifelines

Evening

The figure

Trixy

Penobscot

Exile

Night

It

Kozan-ji, myoe meditating

April auf dem lande

The candle

Purgatory

Without an image

Riso amaro

Horace to pollio in 2005

Glove, year, photo

Outside

Recognition

Utopia triumphans

Landscape

Raison d’etre

A trail in white sand

 

Encounters:

Juarroz

Wittgenstein

Hesiod

Meng Jiao

Shelley

Borges

Descartes

Virgil, fifth eclogue

Ungaretti

Wallace Stevens

 

Parlando:

Poem

 

Occasional Poems:

Stolen poem

Poet

Post restante

 

Bittersweet (2000)

 

Bittersweet

Picasso, late etchings

Spring

Amsterdam, 1200

Paula Modersohn-Becker, still life, 1905

Fairy tale

The poet Li Ho finds an arrow on the battlefield

Summer

Rilke, painted by Paul Modersohn-Becker, 1906

Distortion

The first photo of god

Solanum dulcamara

Autumn

Noche transfigurada

 

It Could Be Like That (1999)

 

Self

Post

Latin

 

Eye Sight (1989)

 

Bashō

 

The Poet and Things:

Lucretius

Duality

Fire

Atoms

Mirror, reflect

Justice culinaire

 

Eye Sight:

The deception of seeing

What there was to see

The inner eye

The litany of the eye

 

The Eye’s Sights:

Silesius dreams

Cauda

 

Paesaggi Narrati (The Landscape Tells the Story) (1982)

 

Empty quarter

Altiplano

 

Bait (1982)

 

Nerval

Elko, Nevada

Snow

Bogotá

Manáos

Traveler

Fin de saison

Cliff

Rock plant

Tree

Scholasticism

Fuji

Friend

 

Open Like a Shell, Closed Like a Stone (1978)

 

Rolling stone

Birthday

Nobody

Cries and whispers

Afternoon

Suitcase

Hotels

Last letter

Trainers and leather-dyers, Marrakesh

The death of Aegeus

Homer on Ithaca

Those were the days

The thought

 

Present, Absent (1970)

 

Poseidon and Amphitrite, Villa Stabia, Pompeii

The green hunter

T.

Athena, on an aphora painted by Psiax (Brescia)

Nothing at all

 

Closed Poems (1964)

 

A rainy part of the country

Golden fiction

 

The Black Poem (1960)

 

Jungle

M’hamid, tagounite

Calera y chozas

 

Notes

Translator’s acknowledgements

 

 

 

 

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