Courtesy of Flickr/ArTeTeTrA.

Listen to Thomas McGuire’s introduction and recitation of the poem in Dutch.


The gloaming falls like ground.
In Holland lopes a hound.
A hound with yellow teeth.
He roves throughout the earth
a giant sable hound.

We’re lying in the round.
No longer fused together.
What bound us to each other
died between our teeth.
The gloaming falls like ground. 



De schemer valt als grond.
In Holland loopt een hond.
Een hond met gele tanden.
Er gaat door alle landen
een grote zwarte hond.

Wij liggen in het rond.
Niet langer van elkander.
Wat ons tezamen bond
stierf tusschen onze tanden.
De schemer valt als grond.


Gerrit Achterberg (1905-1962) was a major Dutch poet who struggled with mental health issues throughout his life. After fatally shooting his landlady, he spent nearly two decades in institutions for the criminally insane where he wrote many of the thousand-plus poems that comprise his oeuvre.

Thomas McGuire is a translator, poet, and the editor of War, Literature & the Arts. His poem “Four Ways of Looking at Magpie—A Most Becoming Bird” appeared in Best New Poets 2020.