Lucebert: As a Poet a Visionary, as a Painter an Eye-Witness

The poet and painter Lucebert (ps. of Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk, 1924-1994) has an uncontested place in Dutch literature as the ‘Emperor’ of the new post-war poets. Since the day in 1953 when he actually dressed up in Emperor’s robes to receive the poetry prize from the city of his birth, Amsterdam, his poems have not…

The Poet in the Mixer

The Work of Breyten Breytenbach The South African poet and artist Breyten Breytenbach (1939-) once said that he wrote in a ‘bastard language’, ‘Afrikaans.’ Nowadays he publishes mostly in English, having turned his back on the Afrikaans literary establishment which once showered him with prizes and accolades. In his uneasiness with his own cultural heritage…

Five Times Two Picture-Poems

It’s inevitable – a language-area famous above all for its painters is bound also to produce a good many poets who allow themselves to be inspired by paintings. And it does. The Almanac of Contemporary Dutch and Flemish Literature (Almanach zur niederlandischen and flamischen Literatur der Gegenwart), published in August 1993 in connection with the…