Uitgeverij De Geus
ISBN 9789044542837
4e druk
Together with illustrator Benjamin Leroy

Awards and nominations

Shortlist Gouden Uil Jeugdliteratuur 2009

Let’s start a Forest

The poems in Zullen we een bos beginnen? (Shall we start a forest?) are about the magnification of a grain of sand and the diminution of the whole world at the same time. It’s about balls of socks that are mistreated in drawers, about a mother who loses so much weight that she has become a dot, and about a car that has fallen in love with its caravan.

This collection is the first result of the close cooperation between Jaap Robben and illustrator Benjamin Leroy where image and text gradually become intertwined in the creative process. As a result, readers can never trace back who came up with which idea.

Around the publication of the collection, almost 30,000 postcards were distributed with bags of tree seeds attached. On a website, you could indicate where you had planted your tree. This way, a map of a forest that grows all over the Netherlands and Belgium was created. With trees that often grow miles apart, but together form a forest.

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Optreden tijdens Nacht van de poëzie in Vredenburg Utrecht

Shall we start a forest?

Dig a hole
and plant your tree
next to mine.
They can shelter each other
from wind
when it storms
or can sit silently together
in Sunday’s sun.
And in the evenings
when they look at each other
through the eyelashes
of their branches
they already seem
to look like a forest.

Zullen we een bos beginnen? (De Geus, 2008) Translation by Brian Doyle

Our Car

Only this summer
our little car winked
cheerily at street corners.
Kissed poles and posts in parking places
and waved his windscreen wipers
at things he could barely see through the rain.
But ever since our camping gear
has been safely stowed away again
our little car stands lonesome in his garage.

He no longer wants to start
and he coughs when somebody turns his key.
Oily tears trickle and drip
to the floor among the tools,
the jerrycan and the paddling pool.
Without us noticing a thing,
after a summer spent hand in hand
driving through France and Switzerland,
he had fallen roof over wheels in love
with our pretty little caravan.
Onze auto uit Zullen we een bos beginnen? (De Geus, 2008) Translation by Brian Doyle

Has all our water once been tears?

Are my tears to be found
in the blue of the sea?
Do they mingle again
in the steam of my tea?
Or in the icy autumn rain
that drums against my window pane?
Maybe the one will meet the other
in an icicle, dangling from a tree,
or maybe they’ll only meet again
when they trickle down the cheek
of you or me.
Is al het water ooit verdriet geweest? uit Zullen we een bos beginnen? (De Geus, 2008)
Translation by Brian Doyle



Zvite Nogavice

Neumno, da ljudje
spravljajo nogavice v zapor
v temo svojih omar.

Jih zvijajo tako,
da jih strašno tiščijo,
v povratni salto,
flik-flak dvojno zavito
in skrito.

Kot da se ljudje bojijo
da se ob priliki ne izgubijo

Ampak nogavic ni treba z zvijanjem moriti
saj brez naših nog sploh ne morejo hoditi
Iz zbirke: A narediva gozd?, De Geus, Breda, 2008
Knolletjes sokken uit Zullen we een bos beginnen? (De Geus, Breda 2008) – Translation
by Draga Rinkema

Не основать ли нам лес

Вырой яму
и бережно
посади свое дерево
рядом с моим.
Чтобы они в непогоду
друг друга от ветра.
Или молчали вместе
на воскресном солнышке..
А вечером, глядя
друг на друга
сквозь ресницы
уже становились
похожими на лес.
Zullen we een bos beginnen? – Zullen we een bos beginnen? (De Geus, 2008) Translation by Nina
Targan Mouravi

Две слезы

Маме случается всплакнуть,
две слезы, откуда ни возьмись,
а я сижу на лестнице,
жду, пока она меня заметит.
Тогда мама целует меня
и шепчет:
Слезы понимать не обязательно,
они приходят, и все тут.
И эти две – тебе.
Twee tranen – Zullen we een bos beginnen? (De Geus, 2008) Translation by Nina Targan Mouravi

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