“The Retreat” by Paul van Ostaijen

Maybe ten years ago, I took part in an attempt (organised by Karlien van den Beukel) to make a group translation of the book Bezette Stad, by the Belgian poet Paul van Ostaijen.  I just found the section I translated, “The Retreat” (“De Aftocht”).  I don’t know Flemish at all, and was working from bilingual dictionaries, two years of school German and a lot of help from Karlien.  The original typography is much more complex and multi-directional — I only gestured at it, hoping someone would be able to reset the poem later.

Here’s my pdf of “The Retreat”

and here’s a link to a set of page scans of Bezette Stad (“De Aftocht” starts on p. 135).