The day after you died,
the house still in awe,
a button fell off
of your best jacket
that hung, forlorn,
as if waiting for you,
over a kitchen chair
like you could enter
the door any minute.

The sound the button made
was too loud for its size
or importance as item,
when it slowly rolled,
halfway across the floor,

then making a turn
before it disappeared
under the skirting,
never to be seen again.

Dutch version:


De dag nadat je stierf,
het huis nog verbijsterd,
viel er een knoop
van je beste jasje,
dat wat verloren,
alsof het jou nog verwachtte,
over een keukenstoel hing,
alsof je ieder moment
nog binnen kon komen.

Het geluid dat de knoop maakte
was te hard voor zijn grootte
en voor zijn belang als ding,
terwijl hij langzaam
halverwege de vloer rolde,
toen een bocht maakte
voor hij onder de plint verdween,
om nooit meer te worden gezien.

(I had closed the blog for a while, as I was not too sure about my attempted poetry, esp. grammar issues, and I took a good look at the poems. Now I decided to give it another shot. I missed the interaction online, and just could not stay away. šŸ™‚ )


Comments on: "Button" (11)

  1. nowwhatsmyname said:

    i like it. it kinda describes how I am feeling right now.

  2. I love this. Its an excellent poem! I thnk I said more about it on fb.



  3. I love this one too; it’s a vivid picture.
    You really should stop worrying about grammar issues, as you put it, Ina. English is an international language and there are many little variations in the way people use it, even between those for whom it is a first language, and certainly there are many little divergences among second-language speakers of English. Part of the charm of poems written by second-language users is to see these variations and creativities. I imagine it was like that when educated people across Europe all used Latin, and later French. I worry that I might inadvertently have been discouraging to you when recently I suggested a slight change in something to ‘anglicise’ it. Please don’t feel that. Your grammar is clear, your vocabulary extensive and your images bright – and you enrich the international tongue.
    This poem above is a good example of that. It is simple, direct and very forceful. It’s splendid.
    I’ve also tried reading the Dutch version aloud. Believe me, you don’t want to hear that!

    • Hi John, thank you very much! I think the English are very generous when it comes to accepting that the whole world uses their language and not always in the way it is supposed to perhaps. It was reading other foreigners in bad English ( and after that, even more so a poem in really bad French) that made me see we have no clue at times that we are in the wrong, so I needed to do some rereading of my poems. Don’t feel you were discouraging! I needed to see that my grammar and idiome need some studying. I think it is great that you and others help me out, so please don’t stop doing that! šŸ™‚

      Most poems on this blog are written directly into English. I sometimes translate my poems into Dutch and a few from Dutch into English, but they are never quite the same in meaning and feel. Like a lady once said to me, you can’t translate poetry. I think you can try though šŸ™‚ and see how far you can get (away with it) . I would have loved to hear you read that Dutch šŸ™‚

      • Thank you Ina, that’s reassuring.
        I enjoy looking at your Dutch poetry and trying to guess the sounds of the language, thinking back to the voices of Dutch friends.

  4. This is a magnificient poem, Ina, because it rises out of such a simple thing as a button falling and all that it evokes in the wake of someone’s dying. I love little ‘details’, ‘ordinary’ observations – they really make a story vibrant! Beautiful writing. XO ā™„

    • Hi Diane, thank you very much šŸ™‚ The small unimportant things can really make a story! I am very glad you like the poem. XX ā™„

  5. t h i n g s + f l e s h said:

    one of the most precious things i’ve read in the blogs. tony

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