241 Things

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241 Things

Wim Brands (1959, Brummen) is een Nederlandse dichter, journalist en presentator. Brands is werkzaam voor de Nederlandse omroep VPRO sinds 1987. Hij maakt het televisieprogramma Boeken en voor Radio 1, Brands met Boeken over fictie en nonfictie.
Brands maakte zijn debuut als dichter 19-jarige leeftijd in het Hollands Maandblad van K.L. Poll. Zijn werk verscheen in literaire tijdschriften, en hij publiceerde de dichtbundels In de metro (1997), De schoenen van de buurman (1999) en Ruimtevaart (2005). Zijn meest recente bundel is Neem me mee, zei de hond (2010). In 2012 verscheen zijn bloemlezing De vijftig beste gedichten van Wim Brands.Vanaf september 2012 verzorgt Brands voor Polare (voorheen Donner en De Slegte) in Rotterdam het boekenprogramma Brands in Donner.

A man made of bronze is poised on a ladder, his arms raised to the skies. The Russian artist Kabakov was commissioned to make this work named How to Meet an Angel for a psychiatric institution in Amsterdam. Understandably, the work initially sparked protest. Isn’t this the image of a man wanting to commit suicide, which is, of course highly inappropriate? After a while, it occurred to the objectors that this wasn’t a man trying to take his own life, but a man trying to meet an angel. Just like you. Just like me.

Each time I see this man in wait for an angel, I always think of a line of poetry by the English poet Auden. The Russian poet Brodsky once wrote that these words should be the foundations of a religion.

I’ve written a poem in which Auden and Kabakov meet each other.

A son’s prayer

I look at Kabakov’s man. Standing

On a ladder, arms outstretched to the heavens.

That is I, I think.

Reaching to my faraway father.

Let this then be my prayer:

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.