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KEATS AND SHELLEY AND "DE NIEUWE GIDS"

Wholesale truth may abide in such a declaration as: "Het is met Kloos en Gorter, met Verwey en Van Eeden, ja, en ook met Hélène Swarth en Hein Boeken dat een nieuw bloeitijdperk voor onze lyriek werd ingeluid." 1 But if we are ever to understand why these should have been able to make a more rapturous response to the loveliness of the universe than since the days of Vondel and Hooft themselves, it can only be, I think, by considering closely their relationship to the particular English poets mentioned above: and this, as their humble compatriot, I have attempted to do. Now, at the end of my efforts, 1 make bold to say that Dutch poetry would be an infinitely poorer thing without a knowledge of their high precept and example: lacking this, the whole "Nieuwe-Gids-Beweging" might well have started without an enlightened constitution and so have degenerated into sheer anarchy; with it, it took over the traditions best fitted to inspire a new national Muse, and thus added a wealth of passionate thinking about life, about nature, about love, and about beauty.

1 H. Robbers, "De Nederlandsche Litteratuur na 1880," p. 41.

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