Yesterday I visited the famous Tintern Abbey in the southeast of Wales, close to the border with England. The first time I ever heard of it was during my Bachelor’s when we studied William Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798“. Quite a mouthful!
Whenever I’m in Paris, I always think of Paul Verlaine, one of my favourite poets, who wrote the following lines:
“Quais de Paris! Beaux souvenirs! J’étais agile,
J’étais, sinon bien riche, à mon aise, en ces temps…
J’étais jeune et j’avais des goûts très militants,
Tel, un bon iconographobibliophile.”
We took a beautiful walk in the Wilbrink forest today. It’s that wonderful time when you can feel the transition from summer to autumn in nature: the air is still warm and carries the earthy smell of the sunlight on the ground, but there is also the occasional whiff of a stink-horn and the strong scent of humus, moist with evaporating morning dew. Toadstools and fungi are sprouting everywhere, spiders spin silver between the trees, and the snaps and pops of falling acorns and chestnuts mingle with bird songs. Leaves are turning red, brown, orange, yellow; they stand out almost shyly among their brilliant green family members. We pick ripe blackberries and fresh porcini. Soon it will get colder, soon the trees will shed their colourful canopies and the drab, grey weather will set in. But not just yet. Autumn is only just peeping out of its cocoon.
Whoever thinks the Netherlands has nothing to offer in the way of beauty compared to other countries – think again. It’s early September, my favourite time of the year, when the heather blooms bright purple in my part of the country. To take full advantage of this gorgeous sight, I went for a hike with my mother and her boyfriend in the Loenermark, which is part of the Hoge Veluwe. We had some rain, but some sunshine as well, which made for beautiful dramatic skies and misty views.
Continue reading “Shutterspeed: Purple haze”
Today, while I was on my lunch break, I walked past a little glass cabinet which functions as a tiny library. People are invited to leave old books there and to take others for free. This afternoon I found Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and a Dutch translation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. When I opened the latter, I found a note with a short poem on it in Dutch, addressed to “Rob.”
Continue reading “Blast from the past: A poem for a soldier”