Arjen Duinker is one of Holland's most highly regarded poets, with seven collections of poetry to his name, and an array of prizes, including the prestigious Jan Campert Prize in 2001 for the best collection (awarded to his The History of an Enumeration). Yet Duinker - by his own admission - does not fit into the mould of a Dutch poet, being far more concerned with reality than with abstractions. His poetry is very much about the reality of things as separate, self-contained entities, about flowers, stones, mountains, wind and water; he consistently tries to shed his won personality to make room for the things he experiences without thinking.
This is a collection full of laughter, exuberance, tenderness and the poet's humanity, brought alive to an English-speaking readership for the first time in Willem Groenewegen's painstaking and sensitive translation.
In the words of a Dutch commentator: "The poems come right up to the reader, go through his pockets, check the seams and hems of his personality, his essence, his baggage, amiably but determinedly shaking him down."
Parallel text, Dutch / English
Published February 2002