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09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku by Henk Luijten

written by Vincent Huying

28 February 2022

09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku


# 09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku is the eighth of the Haiku writings by Henk Luijten. These Haikus have originally been written by Henk in his native language Dutch. Shortly after we got acquainted Camille made the illustrations for the writings. Not familiar with Dutch as a language yet. Consequently, it was a project through which Camille made herself more familiar with some of the aspects of the Dutch language. To catch the gist of the poems and translate the words into an image. Further, she also translated the Dutch poems into English.

# 09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku by Henk Luijten

09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku

What the poem is about

The “09 Zwemmer/Swimmer” Haiku by Henk Luijten is about how a swimmer in a competition swims harder than all the others. Imagine an olympic size swimming pool. The swimmer cleaves through the water with high velocity. it is as if he or she isn’t affected by the friction of the water molecules. Indeed he or she goes faster than all the others. Even though the swimmer propels through a water basin, it seems like the swimmer flies.So, when the swimmer flies so fast, he or she wins the race and is called a ‘hoogvlieger’ in Dutch. High flying also has a kind of ironic connotation. This because flying high comes before the fall. That in itself is a kind of pun, in this case. Because, high flying in water cannot make you fall deep. I presume Henk must have been inspired to write this poem, after having seen an olympic swimming race.
Of course, the swimmer is also a metaphor for a person who is on one hand not prone to ‘drowning’. However, he or she may become overwhelmed by the body of water. In that sense the body of water may personify a great task. In such an explanation the high flyer is indeed symbolic, because the swimmer is capable to overcome the difficulty ahead. His or her stride, won’t be vain, at the end there will be a reward waiting for them.
For the translation into English Camille could almost literally translate this poem. Similarly, the meaning of the poem seems at least to remain intact.

Image for # 09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku by Henk Luijten

09 Zwemmer/Swimmer Haiku

Illustration and translation into English by Camille Wilkinson

More examples of Haiku writings from Henk Luijten in Dutch and English

We hope you like the Haiku writings by Henk Luijten

Here, you have read the ninth issue of the Haiku writings by Henk Luijten. We naturally hope you will read them and appreciate them. As for the illustrations by Camille. Evidently, we hope they will indeed enhance the meaning of Henk’s writing. And that this very project may be an example and of assistance. As a means to help each and one another to understand each other better, beyond the borders of our native languages.

Read more about the Haiku Writings by Henk Luijten here>>

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