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Though the Netherlands has been the site of vigorous literary activity since at least the Beweging van Vijftig (Movement of the Fifties) poets, the status of Dutch as a "minor" language spoken by only twenty-two million people has kept its rich poetry more or less a secret. This volume--featuring J. M. Coetzee's finely wrought English translations side-by-side with the ori Though the Netherlands has been the site of vigorous literary activity since at least the Beweging van Vijftig (Movement of the Fifties) poets, the status of Dutch as a "minor" language spoken by only twenty-two million people has kept its rich poetry more or less a secret. This volume--featuring J. M. Coetzee's finely wrought English translations side-by-side with the originals--brings the work of six of the most important modern and contemporary Dutch poets to light. Ranging in style from the rhetorical to the intensely lyrical, the work here includes examples of myth-influenced modernist verse, nature poetry, experimental poetry, poems conscious of themselves within a pan-European avant-garde, and Cees Nooteboom's uncompromising reflections on the powers and limitations of art. In addition to Nooteboom, the poets represented are Gerrit Achterberg, Hugo Claus, Sybren Polet, Hans Faverey, and Rutger Kopland--a who's who of contemporary Dutch poetry. In Youth, Coetzee's main character claims that "of all nations the Dutch are the dullest, the most antipoetic." With these marvelous translations, the author proves his protagonist wrong.


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Though the Netherlands has been the site of vigorous literary activity since at least the Beweging van Vijftig (Movement of the Fifties) poets, the status of Dutch as a "minor" language spoken by only twenty-two million people has kept its rich poetry more or less a secret. This volume--featuring J. M. Coetzee's finely wrought English translations side-by-side with the ori Though the Netherlands has been the site of vigorous literary activity since at least the Beweging van Vijftig (Movement of the Fifties) poets, the status of Dutch as a "minor" language spoken by only twenty-two million people has kept its rich poetry more or less a secret. This volume--featuring J. M. Coetzee's finely wrought English translations side-by-side with the originals--brings the work of six of the most important modern and contemporary Dutch poets to light. Ranging in style from the rhetorical to the intensely lyrical, the work here includes examples of myth-influenced modernist verse, nature poetry, experimental poetry, poems conscious of themselves within a pan-European avant-garde, and Cees Nooteboom's uncompromising reflections on the powers and limitations of art. In addition to Nooteboom, the poets represented are Gerrit Achterberg, Hugo Claus, Sybren Polet, Hans Faverey, and Rutger Kopland--a who's who of contemporary Dutch poetry. In Youth, Coetzee's main character claims that "of all nations the Dutch are the dullest, the most antipoetic." With these marvelous translations, the author proves his protagonist wrong.

30 review for Landscape with Rowers: Poetry from the Netherlands

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anca

    I liked this, and was especially comforted by the paintings at the end of the volume given the current climate. But I was irritated that there wasn't a single female poet in the anthology. Boo. Do better. I liked this, and was especially comforted by the paintings at the end of the volume given the current climate. But I was irritated that there wasn't a single female poet in the anthology. Boo. Do better.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jack Caulfield

    Dutch poetry with English translations by the ever-brilliant Coetzee. A really fascinating selection of poems, most of them long and boldly experimental. Sybren Polet's Zelfrepeterend gedicht, Hans Faverey's "Aan de vaas" and Rutger Kopland's Afdaling op klaarlichte dag particularly unforgettable. Highly recommended. Dutch poetry with English translations by the ever-brilliant Coetzee. A really fascinating selection of poems, most of them long and boldly experimental. Sybren Polet's Zelfrepeterend gedicht, Hans Faverey's "Aan de vaas" and Rutger Kopland's Afdaling op klaarlichte dag particularly unforgettable. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Al

    Beautiful collection that provides a good introduction to Dutch poets of the last century. Rutger Kopland's "Descent in Broad Daylight" is exceptionally beautiful and touching. Gerrit Achterberg's "Ballad of the Gasfitter" feels like a Dylan or Baez song of the '50's/early '60's. Beautiful collection that provides a good introduction to Dutch poets of the last century. Rutger Kopland's "Descent in Broad Daylight" is exceptionally beautiful and touching. Gerrit Achterberg's "Ballad of the Gasfitter" feels like a Dylan or Baez song of the '50's/early '60's.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim Agustin

    Read this a long time ago. It was too... clean for my taste, almost cold. Worth reading though just to get a taste of the writing from the Netherlands. Beautifully put together. I was hoping to be enthralled instead of just set upon mostly calm waters.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    A fine thing that Coetzee selected a fine flower of Dutch poetry for this album, and translated the poems more than adequate, sometimes with implicite glimpses of interpretation, which helped me - I am a Dutchman - understand them. JM

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    An interesting collection printed side-by-side with the original poems--much of it quite complex and beautiful. It's unusual to find poetry of the Netherlands translated into English and published in the U.S. An interesting collection printed side-by-side with the original poems--much of it quite complex and beautiful. It's unusual to find poetry of the Netherlands translated into English and published in the U.S.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erik Raschke

    An author can never overcome his/her ego. Some beautiful translations, some wonderful selections, some step closer to Coetzee than the poet.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Salvatore

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cora Stam

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert Steenkist

  11. 5 out of 5

    Roger

  12. 4 out of 5

    James Grinwis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  14. 4 out of 5

    Irene

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Craciun

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gregg Hower

  17. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Hendrixson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lamerestbelle

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aseem Kaul

  21. 5 out of 5

    AC Fick

  22. 4 out of 5

    S

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cath Van

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lambdaphagy

  26. 4 out of 5

    David

  27. 4 out of 5

    numerodix

  28. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Turek

  29. 5 out of 5

    maria

  30. 5 out of 5

    Neil Bomberg

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