Poems of Guido Gezelle

A Bilingual Anthology

Edited by Paul Vincent MA, MTA FCIoL, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Dutch, UCL


ISBN: 9781910634929

Publication: November 14, 2016

The Bruges-born poet-priest Guido Gezelle (1830–1899) is generally considered one of the masters of 19th-century European lyric poetry. At the end of his life and in the first two decades of the 20th century, Gezelle was hailed by the avant-garde as the founder of modern Flemish poetry. His unique voice was belatedly recognised in the Netherlands and often compared with his English contemporary Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889).
In this bilingual anthology, award-winning translator Paul Vincent selects a representative picture of Gezelle’s output, from devotional through narrative, to celebratory and expressionistic. Gezelle’s favourite themes are childhood, the Flemish landscape, friendship, nature, religion and the Flemish vernacular, and his apparently simple poems conceal a sophisticated prosody and a dialogue with spiritual and literary tradition.
However, an important barrier to wider international recognition of his lyric genius up to now has been the absence of translations that do justice to the vigour and musicality of Gezelle’s West Flemish idiom. Two of the translations included go some way to redressing the balance: ‘The Watter-Scriever’ by Scotland’s national poet Edwin Morgan and ‘A Little Leaf . . .’ by Francis Jones. Both translators make brilliant use of their own vernaculars (Glaswegian and North Yorkshire respectively) to bring Gezelle to life for the non-Dutch-speaking reader.

Paul Vincent studied at Cambridge and Amsterdam, and after teaching Dutch at the University of London for over 20 years became a full-time translator in 1989. In 2011, having twice won the Reid Poetry Translation Prize, he was awarded the Vondel Dutch Translation Prize for his version of Louis Paul Boon’s My Little War. In 2015, he published an open access translation of a selection of Herman Gorter’s Poems of 1890, which was included in Times Higher Education's Books of the Year. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Dutch at UCL.

Format: Hardback

Size: 216 × 140 mm

252 Pages

ISBN: 9781910634929

Publication: November 14, 2016

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