DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
durende de kunst-schepping werkzame vermogen de Verbeelding aan. Tot een klare begripsbepaling zijn deze drie Grooten echter niet gekomen." 1 But I quite fail to understand him when, af ter admitting that "Kloos leert volkomen hetzelfde als de beide Engelschen" (Wordsworth and Shelley), he calmly concludes: "Alleen is zijn omschrijving veel treffender en scherper." 2 Nor can I see why, in the first place, he should have dragged in the name of Coleridge — surely of all English poet-critics the most unknown quantity in Holland! All that his diligence, feverish rather incisive, can in any case do is suggest the very remote possibility that Kloos in framing his "Vorm-en-Inhoud-gedachte" may have had in mind the passage in the "Biographia Literaria" in which Coleridge speaks of poetry as having a logic of its own, as severe as that of science, and of how in the truly great poets "there is a reason assignable, not only for every word but for the position of every word"!3 Is it not all against the tenability of the supposition that Kloos in his own Preface nowhere so much as mentions the name of the other?
Turning to the early poetry of Kloos, I have no desire to make out an inviolable case for it as work in every way saturated with the genius of Shelley. Merely to be able to keep crying "pure Shelley" all the time is, it seems to me, not necessarily in the highest form of tribute, and would, indeed, often enough apply to ecstatic yet rather empty lyrics of the type of: "De rassen dezer aarde zijn als droomen", "De zoete nacht, die langzaam gaat", "O, mijn gedachten vliegen heen en weder", "De mensch moet leven als een plant". We shall assuredly require to bend a long, unwieldy bow if we are going to try to make everything of the kind count as positive hits for Shelley. It is not at all how I would wish to associate them; and I shall go on being satisfied
1 Op. cit., p. 76.
2 7bid., p. 90.
3 Part I, pp. 4-5.