zaterdag 30 januari 2016

Herman de Coninck: De Gedichten

Hi everyone

Herman de Coninck is one of Belgium’s (if not the) most famous poets.
This book, released after his death in 1997 contains every poem he ever wrote. It consists of the poems published in his own poetry collections as well as those he wrote for other purposes.
The book has 616 pages of poems.

It took me a whole month to read this collection because poetry is not something I could read for a full hour at a time.

My father received this same collection as a gift from my mother and I really felt like rereading the collection.
I wanted to read it in a relatively short time (one month) in order to follow his evolution better. The first time I read it I took it really slow and I finished the book over the course of at least half a year. By that time I’d forgotten quite a bit about the first few hundred pages.

I find it difficult to review a poetry collection and especially such an extensive one as this. How can you review everything someone wrote without feeling like either a complete jerk or a swooning fan?
Besides this is the first time I attempt to review poetry on my blog and it’s been a long time (high school I suppose) since I had to do that.

I’m kind of in the middle between loving it and finding it just meh.
My opinion differs so much between the little collections, let alone the separately published poems.
In general, his published collections are his best works.

Thinking about it there are a few recurring themes that I don’t like. His poems about animals are too simplistic for example. And I very seldom like a poem of his about sex or nakedness because most of them are too coarse in my opinion.

I adore most of his published work aside from those two themes.
He has quite a few I could recite by heart because I love them so much.
He is a genius when it comes to poetry about love and loss, having lived through that himself.
My husband and I used a poem of his on our wedding invitations and I recited one during our ceremony. That’s how much I love part of his work.

I seem to be all over the place with this review.

Anyway, worth a read for anyone who loves de Coninck’s work.


Happy reading.