Poetry afternoon in Haarlem

This video about the Haarlem poetry festival in the Netherlands, in 2007.

Today, poetry day in Haarlem.

From the train: grey herons, Egyptian geese, great crested grebes.

After the official opening in the Vishal, over 60 poets went to various places across the inner city.

Yours truly, and ten other poets, went to Café Cicero; Lange Begijnestraat 10.

The other poets on the program there were:

Pom Wolff, first on stage today.

Frans Vlinderman.

Pandorra, who had also done much organizing.


Kapitein Lafbek.

Eric van Hoof, also organizer of poetry slams in Leiden.

Jacob Aachenende with several poems, including one on cuttlefish, and another one on plants.

Roel de Lange.

Marten Janse, originally from Zeeland province.

Anne Budgen, whose poems included one on a snail.

Throughout the afternoon, I was on stage several times, reading over twenty poems.

Also several ‘unexpected guests’ went on stage to read their poems, including Louis Lazaroms and Simon Mulder.

And Hiltje, a former nurse, who like me had a poem about a beetle.

8 thoughts on “Poetry afternoon in Haarlem

  1. To my American eyes, Dutch cities seem very beautiful. Here, in California, brick buildings are very rare, as they are very dangerous in earthquakes. However, I didn’t see enough trees. At least in the mid-west, many American cities have trees planted along all of the streets. Detroit is a spectacularly ugly city, but seen from the air, parts of it look like a forest. For a few years, I lived in The Tenderloin in San Francisco. It’s a poor, ugly, drug and crime ridden neighborhood, but thanks to the trees, I could hear my favorite birds, little house finches, singing at dawn.
    I’m happy that you are working at your poetry.


  2. Hi Jon, thanks for reacting. Most of the video is about the inner city of Haarlem. That part of Haarlem has indeed few parks, dating from the Middle Ages and seventeenth century. However, there is the Haarlemmerhout park a bit further away from the center.

    I saw housefinches in Vancouver, Canada. Aren’t they a very city tolerant species?


  3. House finches do well in cities, but they like to have a safe place to retreat to. They like to venture out from a stand of trees, or at least a single tree. This reminds me. I should fill my feeders.


  4. Let’s see… Yellow (sulfur) crowned sparrows, scrub jays, dark eyed juncos, gold finches, tufted titmice… that’s about it. Non seed eaters who frequent my yard include Flickers, woodpeckers, bluebirds, blue green swallows, bushtits and Anna’s hummingbirds. I also have occasional visits from a pair of pet hens who like to peck under the feeders.
    I’ve really been working a lot, so I haven’t had time to pay attention to local birds. I’m also spending too much time on the damned computer. That’s enough then.


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