How Free is Dutch-Language Poetry?

(Piet Gerbrandy) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 14-23

Anyone reviewing the landscape of the Dutch-language poetry of the last few years is bound to note that it is flourishing, that it is characterised by an enormously multi-facetted structure and that, considering its negligible economic importance, its virtually complete disappearance from education and the low level of social relevance usually attributed to it, it is extraordinarily visible. Its social imbeddedness may have changed, the advent of the internet has created new opportunities for publication, old forms are adapted or rejected, ‘the age of one-sided movements has gone’, to quote Lucebert. But ultimately poets are still doing what they have always done, with the freedom and the limitations which also characterise the flight of the swift and the song of the thrush. That is a hopeful thought.

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