This Sunday afternoon, poets read their poems in La Fontaine café in Woerden town.
From the train, I saw a buzzard flying.
In water near where the poetry was read, a great crested grebe.
And muscovy ducks; mallards; and coots.
Unfortunately, also a dead bream.
As the train starts again from Woerden station, a flock of scores of sheep runs parallel to it, trying to keep up.
As the train gets faster, they lose.
Marcel de Roos and Marijke Donkers introduced the poets.
There was one local poetess: Rodica de Knijff, first on stage today.
One of Rodica’s poems was translated from Romanian.
She was born in Romania, in the western city of Arad: known in The Netherlands mainly for its local soccer club UT Arad beating Dutch favourites, then defending cup winners, Feyenoord, in international competition.
The next poetess, Maartje van den Bosch, was from Linschoten, not far from Woerden.
She included poems on her journey by train to France; paintings; and a Robbie Williams concert.
Between the poetry readings, Noortje Groot played harp.
She originally studied the instrument in Woerden, but lives in Maastricht as a student now.
First, she played John Thomas, Minstrel’s Adieu to his native land.
Then, a piece by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, from Paraguay.
Marlies Souren was on first.
Thirty years ago, she was among the audience at a poetry reading.
The poet on the program did not turn up.
She was asked to read poetry for the first time in her life. She improvised, and went down a storm.
She never stopped since then.
Recently, her seventh poetry book was published.
Among her poems today was “Political poem”.
It was about a conference of 32 big brass politicians in London. All of them male.
After Marlies Souren, Huub van Doorn from Oudewater.
His poems included one on Ameland island.
After a pause, I read three poems: one of two lines on the Dutch royal family. One long one on the dead of the Schiphol fire. Finally, one on soccer.
Then, poems by Dora Sangers from Montfoort.
Then, Era Copier read her poems; and also sang a song in the Frisian language.
Then, Noortje Groot played harp again: Féerie, by Marcel Tournier.
Last on stage today, Titia Beukema had poems on a boat trip and other subjects.
And finally: thank you (you know who you are)!