Germain Droogenbroodt

Germain Droogenbroodt

GERMAIN DROOGENBROODT, was born in Rollegem, the Flemish part of Belgium, where Dutch is one of the official languages. In 1987 he moved to the Mediterranean artist village of Altea and integrated in Spanish literary life.

Germain Droogenbroodt is an internationally appreciated poet, translator, publisher and promoter of modern international poetry. So far he wrote eleven poetry books and translated – he speaks six languages – more than thirty collections of German, Italian, Spanish, English and French poetry, including anthologies of Bertolt Brecht, Reiner Kunze, Peter Huchel, Miguel Hernández, José Ángel Valente, Francisco Brines and Juan Gil-Albert and rendered Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Persian and Korean poetry into Dutch.

As founder and editor of POINT Editions (POetry INTernational) he has published more than eighty collections of mainly modern, international poetry. In 1996 he set up a new poetic movement, called neo-sensacionismo with the famous Chinese poets Bei Dao and Duo Duo.

Germain Droogenbroodt organised and co-organised several international poetry festivals in Spain. He has been advising poets for the Festival Internacional de Poesía de Granada, Nicaragua and of the Struga Poetry Evenings, Europe’s oldest and most famous international poetry festival. He was “special collaborator” of the International Festival de Poesía de Rosario, Argentina and is founder and president of the Cultural Foundation ITHACA Droogenbroodt-Leroy of the Valencia Country and reviewing editor of “Contemporary Poetry”, the oldest Chinese poetry magazine in Hong Kong and of The Poetic Bridge, a Japanese-English poetry publication.

His poetic oeuvre is many-sided. After his début with “FORTY AT THE WALL” (1984), defined as neo-romantic poetry, he published “Do you know the country?”, Meditations at Lake Como (Italy), a collection of nature poems. In 1995 he was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship (Scotland) where he wrote “CONVERSATION WITH THE HEREAFTER”, poems about death, awarded with the P.G. Buckinx-Prize and “PALPABLE ABSENCE”, a bilingual (Dutch-Spanish) collection of love poems. A critic of the Dutch Information Office for Libraries described his love poems as “virtuoso poetry”. At the end of 1997 appeared “TWENTY-FIVE AND TWO LOVE POEMS”, and in 1998 “BETWEEN THE SILENCE OF YOUR LIPS”, his collected love poems.

During his sojourn at the Palace-Fortress “Neemrana” in Rajasthan he completed the poetry cycle “THE ROAD”, (read TAO) a poetic bridge between the East and the West, inspiring the Flemish artist Frans Minnaert and the Indian painter Satish Gupta, who enriched “The Road” with their drawings. This rather philosophical, mystical poetry is so far his most popular book, published already in 24 countries, translated by such famous poets as Bei Dao (Chinese), Fuad Rifka (Arabic), Jana Stroblova and Josef Hruby (Czech), Milan Richter (Slovak), Emilio Coco, Luca Benassi and Tiziana Orrù (Italian), Ganga Prasad Vimal (Hindi), Mongolian etc. In 2001 he wrote in Spanish “AMANECE EL CANTOR” (The Singer Awakes), a homage to the deceased poet José Ángel Valente, followed by “COUNTERLIGHT” written in Ronda (Southern Spain) in 2002. This book has been published in Spain by Calima Ediciones, in Romania by ex Ponto, in Belgium by POINT Editions, in both Mongolian languages by GCompress Co., Ltd. Ulaanbaatar, in Arab by Albayat (Morocco), in Hong Kong by “Contemporary Poetry”, and in Taiwan by Poet Culture. Corp. The latter publication includes also “Counterlight “.

He last but one poetry book “In the Stream of Time”, Meditations in the Himalayas, was published in 2008 in Belgium and as part of “Selected Poems by Germain Droogenbroodt”, 2008 in Shanghai and in Spain, laureate of the XXIX Premio de Poesía Juan Alcaide 2008. Struga Poetry Evenings published a selection of his poetry in their “Pleiades” in 2010. “In the Stream of Time, selected poetry of Germain Droogenbroodt has also been translated in Japanese and was launched at the Kyoto City International Foundation in Kyoto, Japan in 2010 and in Gaelic (Irish) in 2012. A selection of his poems have been published as well in Bangla in Bangladesh (2012). “Unshadowed Light”, his latest poetry book, was launched end 2012 in a bilingual Dutch-Spanish publication at the Book Fair in Antwerp and in several Belgian towns and in Spain.

Germain Droogenbroodt is frequently invited to give recitals and conferences at universities and international poetry festivals all over the globe. He has been honoured with a Doctor of Literature, h.c. in Egypt in 1990 and awarded several prizes. In addition to the publication of international poetry he also has an internationally well visited website: http://www.point-editions.com in English, Spanish and Dutch with articles in Arab and Chinese, bimonthly updated, publishing modern poetry from over 70 countries, as well as information on book fairs and international poetry festivals. The site has so far been visited over 120.000 times.

 
Daybreak view from Ithaca

 
ITHACA

With the poppy-red of dreams
the sun paints another day
knocks sparkles
out of the mountain’s ochre head
scatters over the Mediterranean
a sea of pearl and silver
paints heaven
full of blue and white
erases from the head
the wild grow of memories.

 
DAWN

Slowly
the way a poem writes itself
daybreak comes into being
from nothing

disposes of silence
and brings light

everywhere arises green
provision for the sun

which from the earth
removes no other darkness

but the night.

 
DAYBREAK has lifted the tombstone
of sleep
leaving behind its dark web
in the great urns of the night

the horizon
drinks the lukewarm blood
of the dawn

and the heart
mirroring itself in the sun
rejoices without reason.

 
THE CLOUDS struggle
for a trivial kingdom
of water and wind

white and blue tendrils
strangling one another

sterile fertilization
of ferocious beings
in the mirror of the world.

 
INTERIOR LANDSCAPE

At the seashore
the naked heart observes
with what ardour the water
throws itself upon the earth

thirst, loneliness, remembrance, rebellion
shreds of ephemeral happiness
leaving in the hand hardly more
than the dust of their sand.

 
WHY desire more
than the sea?

within its boundaries
a reachable heaven.

 
MELANCHOLY SEASCAPE

Under the blue unity
of sea and clouds
melancholy draws a trace
of salt and silence
because it knows:

what is bound
will inevitably be unbound

naked and pale
wiped out.

 
TO THE WINDS which sweep
whirl and turn them
he entrusts his queries.

The mountain range
reflects the answer

with runic writing
of slanting light.

 
CYCLE

Nothing is lasting
on earth or in the universe

clouds become water
and water the river

the water of the river
disappears in the sea

evaporates
and the clouds again
become water.

 
WHEN THE CLOUDS
stop being clouds
they dissolve in air

forms slowly disintegrate

leaving behind
in the infinite blue
the void

from which everything came.

 
YOU

material of the earth
and dreams

star without night
who pities us
like the moon pities darkness

light, cast
as beacon and buoy

when the horizon
is drowning in the sea.

 
All poems on this post: © Germain Droogenbroodt
Published with the permission of Germain Droogenbroodt