performance above by the Asko Ensemble, Bas Wiegers conducting, Amsterdam, 2007

“O Zomer!” was inspired by the Dutch poet and children’s writer Toon Tellegen – for no other reason than that he simply and plainly says what he means. There is no irony or hiding in his work, and what remains is a deep sense of awe, playfulness, love and tragedy.


In the beginning there was tumult.
Someone called for silence,
for diligence
and then for love.


A man stood up and said:
“How can I ever make it clear that I really,
really . . . ”
“What?” the people around him cried. “What?”
“ . . . do not despise you?”


and that man kissed children falling from the sky,
women flowing past in slow muddy streams,
mothers in their glistening cocoons,


and among the people loneliness erupted,
like thunder in summer.
O summer!


“In het begin was er tumult” by Toon Tellegen,
translated to English by Judith Wilkinson.
Quoted from…AS-TUMULT