Jules Deelder


Sample Passages

  • The Battle of Arsekettleprickfort

    Of all the battles that have been fought
    Over the centuries on land or sea
    There is one that has never been
    Recounted in the annals of history nor
    Its existence so vehemently
    Denied by historians

    How a whole battle with everything about it
    Has been erased from the history books
    Where everything that smacks of war
    Is usually described in minute detail is
    A mystery for which no one has or is
    Prepared to give a suitable answer.

    Endlessly we descend
    On agencies to try to break
    The silence that hangs over all
    Aspects of this forgotten battlefield
    But so far all efforts up to now have
    Been in vain

    The MoD knows nothing
    The same with the General Staff
    While De Jong straight up denies
    Everything with even the slightest
    Link to the silenced
    Battle of Arsekettleprickfort

    Why? What’s happening?
    What game are you playing
    On the backs of the dead
    And former survivors?

    Who gave the order
    To forget this battle and
    For what reason? That’s
    All we want to know as members
    Of the association of Former
    Survivors of the forgotten
    Battle of Arsekettleprickfort

    And are we condemned for once
    Having fought in the
    Service of our country
    In the flat land of the same name
    For three days and three nights
    Against a supposed
    Enemy that later turned out
    To be just another
    Division of the same army?
    Is that the scourge of the Battle
    Of Arsekettleprickfort?

    If yes then tell us face to face
    So we know for sure what
    Awaits us: an inglorious
    End and an unnamed grave
    But let us not wallow
    In uncertainty over who was
    Right and who was wrong in the
    Battle of Arsekettleprickfort

    We’re too old for that
    And too hardened from the fight
    We’ve the right to know
    Why we were silenced
    And shall not sleep until
    We get an answer but between
    Ourselves we’ve been saying
    We’d have been better off if
    Instead of surviving we had
    Just been killed in the
    Battle of Arsekettleprickfort

    Then we’d be alright

    © Jules Deelder Translation Scott Emblen-Jarret

Sample Information


Transeuropa is a series of wickedly funny poems by bestselling Dutch performance poet Jules Deelder about foibles, trouble and strife in Europe throughout the ages.

Where else will you find poems about Göring’s soft spot for rings in odd places, ‘The Ring der Tinglelungen’, or mocking the practice of feeding Christians to tigers and lions in the Roman Empire, ‘Roman Humour’, and a brutal poem full of black humour about neighbours killing each other, ‘In the Balkans’.

Although Deelder occasionally uses rhyme, the most striking aspects of these poems are the superb use of rhythm and the poet’s view of the world. Bold, often outspoken and full of feeling.

Take the opening lines of ‘Ode to the Road-Bug’:

Oh Road-Bug! Ye who
Hums in hordes over
The highways of the Lord
And clogs the streets
Of our cities so hopelessly
And by the thousands populates
The car-parks where
Beaches and forests once stood

Deelder has written quite a few classic poems but the poems in Transeuropa are of a consistent high-quality while, at the same time, being very accessible. An excellent choice for those who like to start reading poetry as well as seasoned poetry lovers.

But where would a translation be without a translator? Scott Emblen-Jarrett makes a debut to savour with this translation of his first full collection.

The Poems

The Ring der Tinglelungen
The Sixth Commandment
In the Balkans
Saxony Twilight
Spirit of Sparta
When Pigs Fly
Philippine Trench
Tenth of May
The Roman Sense of Humour
In the Light of the Current Era
The Monster of Bolnes
Ode to the Road-Bug
Tintin on the Moon
The Battle of Arsekettleprickfort
Those Who Fell

Please contact the publisher for more information or review copies:, +44 (0) 77 926 11 929.

ISBN: 9781907320927
Number of pages: 58
Price: £0

Published 1 August 2019


‘Jules Deelders’ hard-hitting poems are a must-read in the current turbulent times. Viewing European history with a critical and irreverent eye, they give us a fresh perspective on today’s Europe. Translator Scott Emblen-Jarrett brilliantly captures their mood, raw energy and wry humour.’ – Jane Fenoulhet, Emeritus Professor of Dutch Studies at UCL

‘It’s not Jules Deelder’s purpose to provide answers, but to provoke thought.
Scott Emblen-Jarrett’s English translations create the sense of poems that are often satirical, explore political issues without censorship or being didactic and were designed to work as performance pieces as well as being read from the page.’ – Emma Lee on her blog

‘The ‘Night Mayor of Rotterdam damns some rotters in his poems. They have the touch of the Midnight Hour Macabre. He magnificently mauls, in his own inimitable way, these devils, but not the language which is sometimes naughty. Jules Deelder walks his own path better to be an enfant terrible than a bon homme merely following society’s dictates. ’ – Terry Little