Translating my poetry from Dutch to English is no easy feat

Translating poetry from one language to an other is hard.
Translating poetry from one language to an other is hard.

I am a Dutch native speaker. Most of my poetry and prose I have written — thus far — is in Dutch. But in the past few years I found myself slowly transitioning from Dutch to English as the primary language in which I express my creative self.

So, I decided to translate all my old (unpublished) work into English.

Let me tell you: that’s no easy feat.

It’s almost impossible to and translate the work correctly and make sure the prosaic parts of the work are carried over from one language to the other. There are pieces that I just have given up on, after several trials; they were untranslatable.

But sometimes it works.

Here is a piece were I managed to do both: translate the words and retain any literary magic the original may have:


een blik
een glimlach
een klein gebaar

(een bloos)

spelen met haar haar

a look
a smile
a coy stare

(a blush)

playing with her hair

Khadim Zaman, science fiction author and poet.

I am a science fiction author and poet from Amsterdam.

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