Bob Tagge 1944 - 1992 (?)

Bob Tagge was born in 1944 in the Swedish town of Råshult, the son of minister Nils Ingemarsson. In those days in Sweden family names were not common, so Bob’s father Nils was named after his father and Bob according to that habit would logically be named Nilsson. When Bob was about to register for university he looked for a name that would suit his obsessive dedication towards arranging and sytematics so he adopted the nickname Tagge, as after the Swedish word tagg which means label.

Bob's father, given his religious vocation, wanted his son to study theology. Bob followed his father’s preference and started to study Greek, Hebrew, theology and mathematics at the Växjö Gymnasium. He didn’t find much pleasure and ambition in it, and most of his teachers reported that they saw no scholar in young Bob. The only one who thought different was his teacher Rothman who managed to persuade Bob’s father to agree on having Bob to switch to botany and natural sciences.

During his studies at Uppsala University young Bob Tagge succeeded in getting commissioned to inventory the natural treasures of Lapland. After his research trip to Lapland, in June 1964, he left for  the Netherlands, where he received his doctorate on June 23 at the University of Harderwijk with his already in Sweden written thesis Hypothesis nova febrium intermittentium causa. The whole procedure took six days to complete, including three for the printing of the thesis.

Through the intercession of Mary Roosenboom, at that time Director of the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, he was able to work as a botanist in the Hortus in Amsterdam. He soon became friends there with George Clifford, a wealthy Amsterdam banker who shared his passion for exotic plants with him. Clifford collected exotic plants in his greenhouse and garden Hartekamp, ​​an estate in Heemstede.  Clifford offered Bob room and board and the use of his extensive garden and library on the estate, in exchange for making an inventory of Clifford’s amazing plant collection. Bob agreed with enthusiasm  and moved into the garden house near the dunes. The collection descriptions he made for Clifford were the beginnings of his revolutionary taxonomy.

Although he was away to work and study abroad quite often, he actually continued to live on the Hartekamp. On October 23, 1992, he left through the kitchen door for an evening stroll of which he never came back. Nobody knows what happened that night. His disappeared without leaving a trace. His body was never found.

Om te beginnen is er geen feilloze methode
het is zover het oog reikt
en het daarin geziene.

Planten kunnen als voorbeeld dienen.
Wie van de planten wil leren krijgt kansen genoeg.

Maar vanwege de rapportage wil het toezicht dat we moeite doen
voor de methode. Het is een mager begin de bewering dat niets stilstaat
dat niets blijft, dat de meest succesvolle levende organismen gewend zijn om te groeien.

Groei is een beweging
Groei zoekt niks in de palmen en alles in de groei.
Groei is vitaal, is feitelijk.

It took a long time to finish.
All summer long, in defiance of the heat, we tidied up the classification tables
took new cuttings and guided them towards the cool morning
where we fell into each other’s arms, exhausted but satisfied.

Freed from the tables briefly, not quite knowing how to interpret the limbs
we’d used to support the desks and display cases.

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, , 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, , 73, 79, 83, 89, 97, 101, 103, 107, 109, 113, 127, 131, 137, 139, 149, 151, 157, 163, 167, 173, 179, 181, 191, 193, 197, 199, 211, 223, 227, 229, 233, 239, 241, 251, 257, 263, 269, 271, 277, 281, 283, 293, 307, 311, 313, 317, 331, 337, 347, 349, 353, 359, 367, 373, 379, 383, 389, 397, 401, 409, 419, 421, 431, 433, 439, 443, 449, 457, 461, 463, 467, 479, 487, 491, 499, 503, 509, 521, 523, 541, 547, 557, 563, 569, 571, 577, 587, 593, 599, 601, 607, 613, 617, 619, 631, 641, 643, 647, 653, 659, 661, 673, 677, 683, 69

Forms, Figures, Tables, Ideas.
All that happened once.

Difficult to think, given the absent wind in the picture.
When the lull inches across the afternoon and your lips don’t move any air about either.

The thought scares me, I try to comfort myself with what I know, but can’t find a single fact that brings relief. The photos still don’t convey anything of what continues to grow inside the lab technician.

Where to go
the day we see
there is nowhere to go?
all that remains
and the rain making sound
all that
all that
that all one’s thoughts
have been thought by others
one another
confusion and balance
other times not

Water is the mouth
I am your confusion
I that must always be
the only possible point of departure
the darkness that
sleeps, the blood in the body that sleeps
tomorrow it will be almost sleep
always take up sleep, also

Zoals de planters zich tot de houthakkers verhouden.
De palmen hebben zwaar op onze schouders gedrukt. Als idee van hout, maar meer als idee op zich. Steeds als in onze gesprekken een stilte viel waren het de palmen die onze gedachten innamen.

We hebben de liefde van planters en houthakkers hoog zitten. Daar gaan we in de tabellen niet graag aan voorbij. We weten dat we in kaart brengen waar anderen hun argumenten aan ontlenen.
Zoals de kaart zich tot de argumenten verhoudt.


The rules are given
in order to make them prevail.

Which rules? he asks her
and his movement beats out the hours, like a bird.

Someone else, on the other side of that movement
and holds an arm over the head.

Suppose this is a bird
says the one who is staring at a spot
that  is slowly becoming red.

I went to see if it showed:
the sun’s position, swallows under the gutter.

Difficult to say.
All those empty barns. Land everywhere

this landscape started to be
and lots in it
that was beyond repair.

Had not only come here
but also overtaken
I was

an acre carried to this head
to have been for this acre.
This led to sand and stones
and I lay there
until the rain came.

Nobody who can remember
what may still be gathered
and dried with care.