Three letters

W. Bilderdijk to K.W. Schweickhardt Brunswick, 19 February 1800 My only dearest! I have only time to tell you I am somewhat better, and convey my-self this letter to the post: yes I sufferd these three days unspeakeably with heathache attended with some delirium. I am impatient of your intelligence. As for the present I…

Two Poems

Tobacco-Smoking (1828) He did with Godforsaken hand Break his old father’s neck indeed Who first that fatal stinking weed Imported to the Fatherland. He gave the loathsome worm-like brood Of weak and filthy languor food With this brain-drugging magic dust: He smothered muscle-power and zeal, Robbed poor mankind of life’s appeal, For this drunken and…

A Poor, Inspired and Melancholy Poet

Willem Bilderdijk, a Calvinist Celebrity On December 18, 1831, the Dutch poet Willem Bilderdijk (1756-1831) drew his last breath. This brought to an end the life of one of the most colourful, influential and versatile figures of the early nineteenth century in the Netherlands. Bilderdijk didn’t just write poetry, he was also a jurist, linguist…