Filmmaker: Bart van Brussel

Visiting the Cargo Vessel (Bezoek aan het Vrachtschip), Strophe 3 by Ed Leeflang

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This strophe of the series from Revolver media is animated by Bart van Brussel. Here’s the translation included in the notes at Vimeo:

Descending inside, passing the layers
of the engine room, greasy, funereal
generators, often replaced
the steps on the iron stair are loose,
No more powerful sense of futility
than in a useless jungle of chaotic wires
unsalvageable organism, a body hanging on,
clinically dead, mummified in its scaffolding
handles and pawls to be pulled and set by creatures with knowledge
gauges for pressure, meter needles measuring longing
still someone’s longing, on board or on the shore,
Someone for whom the ship will moor when the evening falls
Where we are. We can do nothing,
as nothing obeys, we can only walk around
in the hollow echoing hold.
Flaking ladders take us to the bottom,
a cathedral of rust, an echoing grave of kings

To get a better feeling for the poet, be sure to visit the Ed Leeflang section of Poetry International Web. It might also be interesting to compare this poem with Adrienne Rich’s iconic “Diving into the Wreck.”