16 January 2018. Tzum just has published the review “Feeling sips thinking” by Remco Ekkers on verdere bijzonderheden by Rozalie Hirs. Ekkers writes, among other things:

“We take a map of Japan, for example, and we choose six destinations, for example Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Okayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo. All those places have their own history, age, environment, population and different dining options. In Hiroshima, for example, you can eat some kind of pizza in Okonomi-Mura. For example, we start in Huis ten Bosch – we take that place and draw six paths to our six destinations. So that’s thirty-six paths. We add one more path connecting the six places; the shortest path, but it is obstructed by mountains, rivers, inland seas. You need to have good hiking boots, a backpack, and for the road, a tent, a sleeping bag, possibly also a gun.

We have now done what the first poem of the bewegingslijnen section of Rozalie Hirs’ poetry book verdere bijzonderheden suggests. You can also go to northern Canada or to China […]. The whole thing has a cheerful, upbeat character. That’s the way we’re going to be on the road. We are going to do that. The path we choose is for us. There is dust, there are “snakes and glistening sand.” Because of those snakes, we decide not to camp outside tonight. We have scary dreams, but the next morning we eat pancake with syrup and butter and the motel owner tells us about a movie from long ago.

The section has twenty poems, alternating between terzines, quatrains and quintets. No story is told. The concealed self does not travel through Japan. There is a you-figure and another. There is kissing, bathing, visiting a modern museum, eating French fries, saying “say so.” Language sounds like music, sometimes with a dissonance. Words refer to realities, dreams, memories. The reader must read and reread it, out loud, perhaps trying to sing it.

In the next section je andere onophoudelijk we find three poems without punctuation. You should hear the poet read them aloud, so you could detect certain syntactical pauses […]. In ferns we get to read very concretely how and what ferns are. We know them from our forests, but ferns and fern-like plants are found all over the world. There are thousands of different species. In particular, they are abundant in tropical or temperate rain forests, not surprisingly because they like moisture. In Venezuela, the poet saw the most exotic specimens […]. After oneindig breekbare comes a snow alphabet, white on black, a snow dream anno 2017 with all kinds of names for snow from a to z, and finally say love, four love poems, Greek-mythological, Dionysian, drunk with love […]. Rozalie Hirs celebrates life in this collection: sensuous, singing […].”

Read the full review [Dutch only] by Remco Ekkers on Tzum, January 16, 2018