Emile Verhaeren (1855-1916) who, along with his contemporaries Maurice Maeterlinck, Georges Rodenbach, Albert Mockel, Charles van Lerberghe and Max Elskamp, helped to define the Symbolist movement, is one of Belgium's most venerated and admired francophone poets. Dubbed the 'European Walt Whitman', he was a pro-European idealist whose poetry explores his all-consuming notion of mankind advancing to a promised land where vital creative energies and new technology could combine to produce a more progressive humanity, a hope ignominiously swept away by the industrial brutality of the First World War.
This sympathetic modern translation by Will Stone at last allows the English-speaking world to return to, and reappraise, a major poet whose influence was felt throughout European literary circles during his life-time. Not only does this selection contain some of Verhaeren's most passionate and visionary outpourings but also some of the most tender and beautiful love poems ever written.
Published January 2014