In a Different Light: Fourteen Contemporary Dutch Poets
In response to In een ander licht, the Dutch anthology of poems, from Wales comes In a Different Light, a ground-breaking collection of work by fourteen contemporary Dutch poets who have made continental reputations but who wait to be discovered in the English language. And there are fascinating, rewarding discoveries to be made by the English-speaking reader.
Here is a poetry surprisingly unmoved by great events (world wars) and politics or by nature (perhaps not so surprisingly from a country engineered to prevent inundation by the sea). Instead for many poets language has become material, like paint for an artist; for the poets in this anthology, at least, the tone is often conversational. Their subjects are the ‘big ones’: death, doubt, stillness, alienation, minute alterations of perspective. Not surprisingly as residents and products of a small country situated on the delta of a great European river, Dutch poets are concerned with their role as inhabitants of a continent. In many ways the differences between Dutch, Welsh and English poetry could not be more pronounced, and it is their ‘different light’ which makes this anthology so intriguing and enjoyable for readers in Britain.
H.H. ter Balkt
Willem van Toorn
Hans R. Vlek