The Tale Won’t Be Ended

The Poetry of J.H. Leopold One of the earliest publications by the poet Jan Hendrik Leopold (1865-1925), the Scherzo sequence of 1894, contains a poem that at first sight appears a model of simplicity – by Leopold’s standards at least. Leopold has the reputation of being a difficult, not to say obscure poet; which is why…

‘Auntie Yet’ and Humanity

The Internationalism of Henriette Roland Holst Henriette Roland Holst-van der Schalk (1869-1952), poetess, writer and socialist, is one of the most revered women in the history of the Netherlands. Her contemporaries hailed her as ‘our greatest poet’ and saw her as a prophetess; the proclaimer of a beautiful, pure and righteous future. The historian Johan…

The Netherlands Gets on its Bike

If you had to take one photo that summed up the Netherlands as the average foreigner sees it, what would it show? Queen Beatrix in clogs, cycling past a row of windmills, with the glassy eyes of dozens of cows staring at her in astonishment – this would probably qualify. It is not very likely…