Short practical guide for the modern pilgrim

Onze Engelstalige routegids is uit! Lees hier het vertaalde gedicht ‘kleine handwijzer voor een moderne pelgrim’ van voormalig stadsdichter van Nijmegen Frouke Arns. Met dank aan John Irons.

Short practical guide for the modern pilgrim 

Take a selfie before setting out, then leave
your mobile to its own devices. Now only you

have access to yourself. You must charge your own battery.
Your footsteps fall in with those who’ve gone before and yet

this journey feels as if new. Travel light-footed. A map your guide
on which the outline of a pigeon in full flight points out the way.

Be easy to spot from your lack of luggage, most of which is
in your head and heart, that ancient garden of images. Add birds

that sit on wires like a music score. Decipher the song
especially composed for you. Thread the rings on your shoestring.

Reach after days across the open fields your destination.
The horizon slowly releases you from waving countryside.

Take another selfie when you return. Look for differences.
You have come this far.

Frouke Arns
(translation: John Irons)

Meer over Frouke Arns: link
Meer over John Irons: link