– My mother taught me to love poetry

On 22 August 2019 my mother passed away. Two days before her 92nd birthday. She was part of our lives for a very long time, especially for me, being the eldest of her children.

In memoriam Franske Persijn – Jorritsma

She taught me to love litterature and poems alike. She was my personal coach and following her advise I won prices at declamation competitions. Even with two poems by Jacques Prévert, in French.

Our childhood was filled with the stories by the Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt with her splendid sense of humour. But my mother appreciated other poets just as much. In her cupboard I found anthologies of poetry, even in the Frisian language and South-African.

Until her last days she was member of a small group which shared poems and read them to eachother. At the very end, they visited her at her place, because she couldn’t go out anymore.

F. Persijn – Jorritsma
1927 – 2019

During the week preceding her passing, Eric and I visited her every day. She was very clear of mind, gentile and had an interest in us, our children and grand children. I read verses for hear and parts of entries in my “Poetry Album”, like the poem she wrote on the 4th of March 1964. This poem finds its base in the Bible, the first lettre to the Corinthians, verse 13. During my reading she looked at me intensely. Afterward she recited this poem “How great love is” by Harriet Laurey all by heart!

Eric composed a videoclip for the ceremony last Friday, 31 August. He edited photos of my mother and our family into the already existing video in which our MaGMa Trio performs “Eternal Source of Light Divine” by G.F. Handel. I’d like to ask your special attention for the photos where I read to her from the “Poetry Album” and the blue Bible.

During the ceremony I sang part of “Swing low sweet chariot”, a song that ran through my mind during the night she passed … I sang it every day since.

The picture of flowers she appreciated so much

Marijke Persijn