Back when I won Kunstbende Voorronde I knew I would have to represent my province in the national finale. I just didn’t know what a day it would be.
Due to COVID-19 it wasn’t a big event as it usually was, which was quite a bummer but I was more than happy that they decided to prevail, of course with all the rules still being upheld and followed. My dad (my biggest supporter for the past two years) and myself drove about three hours to the other edge of the country for the event and got there about an hour early.
We met a few other people representing Limburg, talked for a bit and had a snack before we walked into the house were I were to perform. What I didn’t know was that people could send in roses with messages to uplift the contesters spirit, and my dad told everyone he knew about this which meant I had a rose with 20 cards!!!
After that I followed backstage and waited nervously for my performance while I chatted with the host. Backstage the ambience is the best! Everyone from the Kunstbende team are absolute heroes to me!
I did my performance, a poem about my last relationship, a poem dedicated to my grandmother who passed away due to dementia early 2018 and a poem about the Second World War (how could I not?). The judges seemed to be really happy with my performance, they liked my accent and the sentences I used. Feeling as though I had just conquered the world, I went back home after a good bag of fries and a hot chocolate.
On the following thuisday people were driving through the country to visit the winners and surprise them with gifts. Three amazing ladies won, and even though I did not, I felt like a winner all the same. It was an amazing experience.
I’ll be competing again upcoming March (hopefully in person, if COVID-19 calms down) and instead will read my Dutch poetry, because many judges (the ones in the Voorrondes and finale) like to hear their own language more, of course. After that I’ll see what I’m going to do. I’ll keep everyone posted.
On the 18th of October I had the honour of participating in Kunstbende Limburg Voorronde. The video is my performance which won me first place. This means I have to perform in my capital, Amsterdam, on the 7th of November. I wanted to perform more like the sixteen-year-old I sometimes forget I am, instead of the Second World War persona I usually perform as. But I couldn’t read poems without including where it all started, could I now?
Hello there! My name is Sara Curfs, I’m a teenage writer who reads her poetry about the Second World War (all written by myself) in English. I do so in the uniform of a nurse during this time, or, when asked to, in a different attire (1940’s civilian for example).
You can hire me to read at your events. Please message me through the email in contacts and let me know the details!
Here are some pictures to show what I do and how I look. PHOTOGRAPHS BY NICK GEERLING
18 and 19 January 2020, while still living in the rush of being in the newspaper, I was hired to read my poems for the Echt-Susteren event. I was more than thrilled to do so and decided to show up in the right attire.
During the event I read a few of my poems, one before the mock battle and one before the amazing concert on Sunday evening. I met a lot of great people and I was very thrilled to have gotten this chance.
There aren’t many pictures from me, but I found one made by Patricia Geerling and one by a photographer for L1 (I assume Jean-Pierre Geusens). I want to thank the organization for the amazing weekend and everyone who showed up. Thanks again
On the 13th of January 2020 I had an interview with Geertjan Claessens for the newspaper known as “De Limburger”. He came to my house and we talked for about an hour on my hobby and what drove me to do what I do.
It was an experience that really made an impact on me. I didn’t know how to act in the beginning, and was really nervous. But after a few minutes I loosened up and he and I spend a good part of the interview just making some jokes and talking stress free.
After that Annemiek Mommers, the photographer, and I tried to come up with a good idea on a pose for the photograph. To be honest with you, I was more a nervous, chuckling and kind of embarrassed mess, and she pulled me through it for sure.
She took an amazing photograph in my library where I write most of the times. She’s an amazing person and a very kind soul.
Skip forward to Tuesday. I was still sleeping when my father woke me up, walking into my bedroom with a grin on his face and exclaiming: “You’re in.”
It’s quite a weird moment for one to wake up with your own face staring back at you from the newspaper you read daily. And especially since I wasn’t fully awake yet, I spend about five minutes just staring in disbelief. One of the first pages, my interview.
Let’s just say I never expected to get this far, so every new step is frightening. But its worth it.
Rainier Eggen, the DJ for Radio Parkstad and I, had a lovely talk on the 4th of December. We talked about a lot of amazing things, and he is a great guy! We shared a taste for music and I listened to some very good songs while on the show.
He is a really kind and welcoming person, so I felt straight at home there. Although I was a bit nervous, he helped me right through it. We talked about my passion and I read a poem of mine, which he really seemed to like.
We joked around a bit, but all the same it was an amazing experience. I also met two lovely ladies while just coming back rom the interview who told me they were inspired by what I do. It meant the world to me!
Once I got home, I still couldn’t fully believe it. Thousands of people had listened to me, even a few of my good friends had tuned in, some from abroad. I had never imagined this to be possibly, but trust me when I say I’m so happy that it is.
In November 2019 the same friend who wrote that beautiful song for me, helped me get on a radioshow in the Netherlands! Johan Coolen is a true sweetheart and helped me through my first ever 30 minutes fame on the radio, haha.
I read a few poems and talked about why I do what I do, etc. The topic of how my teachers responded to what I do came up, and I remembered the one history teacher I had who called me “soldier girl”. So for the show I was sometimes called “soldier girl” which stood out quite funny to me, but also very nice.
I had a blast, it was something I had never done before. As said before the entire team was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better moment of the day.
I’m not sure if you can see it, but during the show I was wearing a Poppy for Remembrance Day. I talked about the First World War and read a poem for all the soldiers who fought so many years ago.
Alles ist anders wie erst Rot ist nicht nur einfach rot Rot ist die Farbe der Menschen die ihren Streit verloren haben Rot ist die Farbe der Kinder die nicht mehr nach Hause wiederkehren sollen Rot ist die Farbe des Kriegs Des Blut das ich nicht mehr von meiner Händen waschen kann Rot wie die Sonne die mich jeden Tag weckt Rot wie die Lippen der Frau die ich so vermisse Rot, die Farbe des Kriegs, dem Zuhause das ich nicht mehr wieder erkenne Rot ist meine Farbe, so wie Tausenden anderen Männer und Frauen, weil rot nicht nur einfach rot ist
A dead German soldier, killed during the German counter offensive in the Belgium-Luxembourg salient, is left behind on a street corner in Stavelot, Belgium, on January 2, 1945, as fighting moves on during the Battle of the Bulge.
Don’t ever forget that you are loved By those right here and those above For what you’ve said and done By loving wife and son
And don’t you dare to brush it off When someone says you’ve done enough For your hard work is seen by all And we’ll be there, when you stand or fall
You fought in wars we can’t comprehend And I realise not all can be mend But I will do my best for you Because this is what my generation should do
You see, there are so many who care And trust in them, for they’ll be there All you need to do is ask And although that sounds like an impossible task
We do remember all those wars And I realise my freedom is yours So let that never be in vain All your love and pain
This poem is for Jose Morales, born in 1923. He is still very much alive and getting on for 97. He served in the 5th armoured division in Europe and then continued on fighting in Korea. He loved to be outside working, he was a true handyman. He worked as a plumber and loved his wife Josefina Morales (1922-2017) and his three sons Joe Morales, Carlos Morales and Ramiro Morales (1949-2017).
I want to thank his grandson for approaching me, Corban Adkins. He is in two of the photographs.