Thomas Möhlmann

Thomas Möhlmann (1975) has published four books of poetry in Dutch and compiled eleven poetry anthologies in the Netherlands, Macedonia, Argentina, Colombia and the UK. He teaches at the ArtEZ Academy of Arts in Arnhem and the Amsterdam Writers Academy, and is one of the editors of Dutch poetry magazine Awater. His first collection, De vloeibare jongen (The Liquid Boy, 2005) was shortlisted for the C. Buddingh’ Prize for new Dutch language poetry, and awarded the prestigious Lucy B. & C.W. van der Hoogt Prize. His most recent collection is Ik was een hond (I Was a Dog, 2017). Thomas is also one of the poets behind Game of Poems: a project in which poetry responds to Game of Thrones.

Photo: Sterre Parigger


Border Crossings »

Reading: Thomas Möhlmann, Will Harris

Thu 8 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

Festival Launch Extravaganza »

A sneak peek at some of the highlights of StAnza 2018

Wed 7 March | 18:30 - 20:45 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Game of Poems »

Poems responding to the cult books and TV series

Thu 8 March - Sun 11 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers


Mother come out of the tree
with your thread and all day
there’s been no one to talk to no bird
snared and on the table inside

two empty plates two warm glasses
without wine and here your poor chair
all alone without you don’t you see so
come out of that tree dear mother out

the chimney no smoke under the kettle
no fire and the goat filled to bursting
is nibbling on the rug by the door and the chicken
lies there like a bouquet of dried flowers

and when I dropped the vase the pieces
scattered everywhere and in my mouth
everything just grows sweeter and already around you
there’s a swaying and creaking under the full sky

so come little mother come out of that tree
with your thread and your tins, with both your legs.

Thomas Möhlmann, tr. Judith Wilkinson

Originally published in Dutch in Kranen open (2009)



Moeder kom uit de boom
met je draadje en de hele dag
geen mens gesproken geen vogel
gestrikt en op tafel binnen

twee lege borden twee warme glazen
zonder wijn en hier je arme stoel
helemaal zonder jou zie je wel dus
kom uit die boom lieve moeder uit

de schoorsteen geen rook onder de ketel
geen vuur en de geit tot de rand toe gevuld
knabbelt bij de drempel aan het kleed en de kip
is erbij gaan liggen als een droogboeket

en toen ik de vaas liet vallen vlogen overal
de splinters in het rond en in mijn mond
wordt het alleen maar zoeter en het zwiept
en kraakt al om je heen onder de volle lucht

dus kom maar moedertje uit die boom
met je draadje en je blikjes, met allebei je benen.

Thomas Möhlmann

Originally published in Dutch in Kranen open (2009)