Teorie en praktyk by Martinus Nijhoff
Poets often express their ideas on the creative process in essays or poems. Martinus Nijhoff is no exception. He has done just this in his essays on prose, drama and poetry. It naturally follows that the scope of this study would be too extensive if all the genres were examined. It was therefore decided to concentrate on Nijhoff's views on poetry. His essays on poetry cover a wide range. There are views on individual volumes of poetry, and then not only in Dutch but also in German, English and French. Début anthologies have had a fair share of reviews. Criticisms on poetry written by other authors have also been examined by Nijhoff. The same applies to the translated poetry of, for example, Dante and Chaucer. For the purpose of this study only views valid for all poetry have been considered. Nijhoff's articles have been conveniently collected in two volumes Martin us Nijhoj'f verzameld werk - Kritisch, verhalend en nagelaten proza ( 1961 ). Poetry, according to Nijhoff, is the most important of the three genres of literature. The extent to which Nijhoff's views on poetry in general are reflected in his own poetry is discussed as a part of this study. It is an accepted axioma that what a poet says with regard to the poetry of others, is also true of his own work. Nijhoff's Poetic Theory Because Nijhoff wrote over a period of thirty five years it can be expected that a poetic theory of some sort must have developed. Nijhoff emphasized different aspects of poetry at different times. Thus we find at one particular stage .emphasis being placed on the idea in poetry; on the poet's attitude to life etc. At other stages the emphasis is placed on the use of the word, the sentence, structure etc. in poetry. Nijhoff's views on poetry have been catalogued and discussed under the following headings: Poetry and the Poet's attitude to life; The characteristics of poetry; The task and language of the poet; The creation of poetry; Poetic technique . Poetics in practice Nijhoff's own poetry is reviewed in the last part of this study. A general impression is gained from the reviews of Nijhoff's poetry. These criticisms have been carefully selected so as to give an unbiased and objective appreciation of his work. Critics of Nijhoff's period as well as contemporaries have been consulted. Finally an assessment has been made to illustrate to what extent Nijhoff's views on poetry are evident in his own work. Three programmatic poems have been analyzed: De Wandelaar, Satyr en Christofoor and De twee nablijvers.
- Humanities