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Hof Van Commerce

During Gezelle's anniversary year 1999 the rappers of 't Hof van Commerce were asked to rap a poem of Gezelle. 't Hof van Commerce is a famous Flemish hip hop group. Their songs are in the West Flemish vernacular that was also used by Gezelle.

Guido Gezelle
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On the Radio

And indeed, on the program The New World on Radio 1, one could hear Serge Buyse and Flip Cowlier from 't Hof van Commerce singing Gezelle's poem. We can listen now to the fourth, fifth and sixth stanza of

De Averulle en de Blomme (The Cockchafer and the Flower).

De Averulle en de Blomme

Flip Kowlier
frontman of 't Hof van Commerce
“We hardly know Gezelle, but we find him funny, he talks about ordinary things, bugs, birds, and silly things, just like us.”
Flip Kowlier - 2017


There once sat a cockchafer
and licked up with a yum,
yum, yum,

the dew from off the petals
that seemed all sprinkled over
as if with drops of rum,
rum, rum.

When it had drunk its fill then,
it flew all daft and dumb,
dumb, dumb,

sniffing and half-drunk now
to where the petals glistened
of a chrysanthemum,
mum, mum.

The flower saw it coming
and did not act so dumb,
dumb, dumb,
but cried out, craftily,

‘Hey, spider, come and spin me
a web around my turn,
turn, turn.’

The spider was soon ready,
and bent its legs and bum,
bum, bum;

it spun its web with cunning
and sat right in the middle
and stayed there still and mum,
mum, mum.

The chafer fluttered slowly
and nearer it did come,
come, come.

Entangled in the cobweb,
it was sucked quite empty,
though it lamented, ‘Hum,
hum, hum!'

The crafty flower laughed then,
the sly chrysanthemum,
mum, mum,
alas! So many suitors
are sucked dry in pursuit of
a fine chrysanthemum,
dumb, dumb!

From the German
Translated by Paul Vincent
(Paul Vincent (editor), Poems of Guido Gezelle. A Bilingual Anthology, London: UCL Press, 2016)


The Cockchafer and the Flower


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