The Bullfinch

Het Puttertje

by Carel Fabritius (1622-1654)

In a literate land where water and wave and light reign

You were chained as any god can be to the might beyond.

 

In the wall two hoops circumnavigate the life led

And the well-made prison box is at one with its bare plaster wall.

 

Just a gleam like autumn sun skinkling off the Zuider Zee

Can be seen in your gaze,

It seems to pity us gripping our own curved bars,

Always beyond fully taking flight.