Leo Vroman--Dutch/American

 

Leo Vroman
(1918-    )

 

Born in 1915, in Gouda, The Netherlands, Vroman is a poet and hematologist researcher.  He has several scientific papers to his credit.  Nonetheless, Vroman is known to his Dutch audience as a poet.  In fact, he has been famous as a poet since the publication of his poems in 1946.  He has won every notable Dutch literary prize possible.  When the Nazis occupied The Netherlands in 1940, Vroman fled to London, then to the Dutch East Indies.  After the Japanese occupied Indonesia he was interned and became a prisoner-of-war.  Following the war, he moved to New York and became a U.S. citizen in 1951.  Vroman is also known for his illustrations.  At 92, Vroman is a familiar figure on the speaking circuit presenting multi-media presentations drawing on his experience as a research scientist, poet and illustrator.


Psalm for Much Later


System, say that as time will flee
far past this eternity
no star, no dust, no light lives on
and, if You wish, You too are gone,

I still can ask right here and now
imprinted on this sheet and dried
so eternally: Why, how,
no, if it still pleases Thee we died?

If not, let us return some day
very different from before
and Who knows, I’ll try once more
some other way


Translated by Ko Kooman