Though the Netherlands has been the site of vigorous literary activity since at least the Beweging van Vijftig (Movement of the Fifties) poets, the status of Dutch as a "minor" language spoken by only twenty-two million people has kept its rich poetry more or less a secret. This volume--featuring J. M. Coetzee's finely wrought English translations side-by-side with the originals--brings the work of six of the most important modern and contemporary Dutch poets to light. Ranging in style from the rhetorical to the intensely lyrical, the work here includes examples of myth-influenced modernist verse, nature poetry, experimental poetry, poems conscious of themselves within a pan-European avant-garde, and Cees Nooteboom's uncompromising reflections on the powers and limitations of art. In addition to Nooteboom, the poets represented are Gerrit Achterberg, Hugo Claus, Sybren Polet, Hans Faverey, and Rutger Kopland--a who's who of contemporary Dutch poetry. In Youth, Coetzee's main character claims that "of all nations the Dutch are the dullest, the most antipoetic." With these marvelous translations, the author proves his protagonist wrong.
J. M. Coetzee received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. His books include "The Lives of Animals "(Princeton), "In the Heart of the Country", "Waiting for the Barbarians", and the Booker Prize-winning novels "Life and Times of Michael K" and "Disgrace". His most recent book is the novel "Elizabeth Costello" (2003).
Preface vii GERRIT ACHTERBERG (1905-62) Ballade van de gasfitter / Ballad of the Gasfitter 2 SYBREN POLET (1924- ) Zelfrepeterend gedicht / Self-Repeating Poem 32 HUGO CLAUS (1929- ) Tien manieren om P. B. Shelley te zien / Ten Ways of Looking at P. B. Shelley 48 CEES NOOTEBOOM (1933- ) Basho / Basho 60 HANS FAVEREY (1933-90) Chrysanten, roeiers / Chrysanthemums, rowers 70 "De aarde; uit aardewerk bestaande" / "The earth; consisting of earthenware" 80 "Aan de vaas" / "From the vase" 82 RUTGER KOPLAND (1934- ) Afdaling op klaarlichte dag / Descent in Broad Daylight 88