Let me take you to the streets...

Published on 18 October 2020 at 12:27

...of Leeuwarden

A lion sculpture made from bike parts.
Leeuwarden, Friesland in the north of the Netherlands is a great city for cycling. Leeuw is Dutch for lion. Creating one made out of bike parts makes sense. But the origin of the name Leeuwarden has unfortunately little to do with lions.
Well, to be fair, it could have because lions are in the coat of arms. But the general consensus is the name stems from 'sheltered terps' referring to the three terps on which the city originated. That was a long time ago, since the eighth century. Leeuwarden is known as the birth place of Mata Hari, Escher, and Slauerhoff, one of my favourite poets. Let me take you through the poetry on the streets of Leeuwarden in upcoming posts.

... and of Wellington

I love Wellington and as always absence makes the heart go even fonder. Poetry can be found on its streets as well. The sea is always there as a backdrop - something I would miss in Leeuwarden if there weren't so many canals. What makes Wellington special to me are the friends I made, the ever changing weather, Cuba Street! The unbeatable cafés, the ever present vibe. I took part in the Iowa poetry workshop in 2015, I worked in Wellington for 10 years, I have been away for almost 4. Time to revisit the streets of Wellington...
Starting this series in Wellington, here's a photo I took from the writers' walk of sculpted texts and poems. Cycling along the waterfront daily out to NIWA, along the coastal road to Evans Bay, I knew how it can blow. Except on a bike there's no resting against the wind, you just have to keep going.


The apt words above are from The Crime of Huey Dunstan by James Mcneish Random House, 2010.

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