Landschapspijn comes from Dutch and translates to “landscape-pain”, “place-pain” (Dutch). This is a word with no real equivalent in English. It’s the distress and sadness one feels at seeing familiar and much loved sanctuaries and habitats destroyed or depleted.
What Was Once the Largest Shopping Center in Northern Ohio Was Built Where There Had Been a Pond I Used to Visit Every Summer Afternoon – by Mary Oliver
Loving the earth, seeing what has been done to it,
I grow sharp, I grow cold.
Where will the trilliums go, and the coltsfoot?
Where will the pond lilies go to continue living
their simple, penniless lives, lifting
their faces of gold?
Impossible to believe we need so much
as the world wants us to buy.
I have more clothes, lamps, dishes, paper clips
than I could possibly use before I die.
Oh, I would like to live in an empty house,
with vines for walls, and a carpet of grass.
No planks, no plastic, no fiberglass.
And I suppose sometime I will.
Old and cold I will lie apart
from all this buying and selling, with only
the beautiful earth in my heart.
3 thoughts on “Ancient word of the day: Landschapspijn”
Very much a word for out times….but looking at it doesn’t fill me with any confidence on getting the pronunciation right!
Yes definitely appropriate for all of the climate protests and extinction rebellion which is currently in full swing in front of the Beehive in Wellington and also throughout the world. About the pronunciation, I think we will need a Dutch person’s input on this to get the pronunciation right, I will ask my friend Peter or hopefully he sees this post and replies.
It’s the perfect word but a tough one to rally around…everyone would be double checking pronunciation all the time lol