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By Tonnus Oosterhoff
Born out of a Sinfonia by Johann Sebastian Bach, hypnotically played by Glenn Gould, this poem brings the reader into the setting of a hospital or care home, in which an old person seems to be living his last hours in a state between waking and sleeping. Slaaplied has been published in Dutch, English, German and Czech.
The work Slaaplied (Lullaby in English) uses a deceivingly simple time-based structure to tell its story. The lines, in Dutch, appear in sequences at the pace set in the work’s Flash application. Succumbing to the forced temporality, the reader is presented with line after line. She can follow the thoughts of the main character who seems to be shifting between reality, dreams and delusions, and the staff who is debating his/her imminent departure, perhaps death. Slaaplied operates with similar aesthetic as the Flash poetry of the early 2000s, published at sites such as Poems That Go and Born Magazine.