100 Dutch-Language Poems offers a wonderful new resource to poetry lovers around the world. It covers more than a millennium of poetry; from the very first written words in Dutch, a poem probably scribbled in the 11th century by a Dutch-speaking scribe in England to try out his pen, to the last poem by a young, spirited, award-winning twenty-first century female poet.Paul Vincent and John Irons have opted to restrict their selection to one poem per poet, no matter how important the poet. They used their own extensive knowledge of Dutch poetry to make a selection of classic, innovative and influential poems which together represent poetry from the Low Countries throughout the ages. They made a special effort to achieve the right balance in terms of earlier versus later, male versus female and North versus South.All poems, with one exception, have been translated into English by award-winning translators Paul Vincent and John Irons. They have decided to include the original Dutch poems with the translated versions thereby adding an extra dimension to this remarkable publication.Guido Gezelle's 't Er viel 'ne keer (A Little Leaf Once Fluttered) has been translated by Francis Jones using an English dialect.
Paul and John have written a foreword full of interesting details about the selection process. Gaston Franssen, assistant professor of Literary Culture at the University of Amsterdam, has added an afterword in which he discusses how the Low Countries landscape has influenced Dutch-language poetry.