Freedom in English by Laurens Sipahelut


Freedom If being free means: you, shut up
because I have something to say

If being free means: you behind bars
so that we don’t have to fear your
being different and all your different doings

If being free means: defining strictly
the day of tomorrow by making the day of today
a bit less of a day

If being free means: closing the doors
and freely watching on the screen
that which has to be kept safely at bay

If being free means: sleeping at ease always
because others had their tongues wilfully taken

If being free means: eating what and when you want
though the peels are dropped into newspapers
where hunger is concealed

If being free means: not needing to know
what freed me, what keeps me free, what confines me
every day in freedom

If freedom means: waiting for the other
to set me free of frights which I profoundly trust

If freedom plasters my thoughts
If freedom around me blows everywhere around
and in me,
but remains elusive to you

If freedom protects me against
your ideas which I deem too different

If freedom today
seems so natural to me, though you
don’t know its meaning

Then freedom is entailing to me
and beheading to you
Then freedom is air and arbitrary

But perhaps I am at liberty to cede some of my ample freedom – by mutual
consent of course – either temporarily or
for a longer period of time
to free you
of my suffocating freedom

Marion Bloem

English translation by Laurens Sipahelut
From original poem “Vrijheid” (Freedom) by Marion Bloem