ALBERT VERWEY – The poetic constant renewal of the self

albert.verwey1.1Editor of the magazine “The new guide” and director of “The quarterly magazine”, Albert Verwey founded and directed “The movement”, the creative container that fueled the new post-symbolist trends. He also taught at the University of Leiden. As contemplative poet, he has given us amazing pages, picking up his literary inspiration in timeless books: “Land” in 1896, “The Way of Light” in 1922 and “The sarcophagus figures” in 1930, and “The delightful mystery” in 1935. The concept of constant renewal of the self, it is essential to him, and is exquisitely expressed in the poem “A Day in April”, in which Verwey’s mastery of rhythm and image thinking is supremely evident.

HOW I LOATHE THESE DAYS FULL OF SUNHow I loathe these days full of sun, of the sun itself, that does not wish to set. And if it were Night, I would stand next to him, and say now: Friend, it is true that my life first, began here, everything that I then dreamed up, was a lie, what I said about the sun delusion. And of pleasure and love, but, very well, forgive me that I so foolishly could stray. Then for each, sweet intercourse of sorrow would be most intimate, as with souls, now unburdened, by pride and vanity and petty interest. And for each would be as if next to him walked his own soul, at the end completely understood, naked and glorious, of same and equal rank.

SILENT NIGHTThere are tones so high, and so low, that human ears cannot hear them. It’s possible, living in forest or hedge, that birds hide from us, singing until the morning.

CYCLEI am a spark without goal, without direction, thrown into the universe as my journey began, before long another sun bound itself to me, and turning I lived for an unmeasured while, a kernel of life, empty in itself, full of the energy that around me spun. O that I could without knowing for centuries, turn within the ungrasped radiating rose. Endless world, unfinished universe, and without beginning, but where each part image is of the whole and a lightshow, along the eternal ways, tell me, shall once, shall ever there be an end to your steady fire, you, a diamond in the hollow of a hand?


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