Dutch love poem
Jouw beeld in de spiegel
Is mijn mooiste gedicht
Maar wees snel, het verdwijnt
Het is mijn laatste "Ik hou van je"
→ Poem the mirror ←
Dutch woman & her language
Dutch, If it loses rhythm and versification, my poetry retains the memory of your Batavian beauty! This Dutch love poem (liefdesgedicht) is your reflection in the water of the Amsterdam canals.
Perhaps one day you will write to me, but what is your firstname: Lara, Marijke or Sigrid? No matter, anyway your singing name, will be so sweet to my ears.
Dutch is a Germanic language which come from Low German. Dutch-speakers are about 30 million. It is the national language of the Netherlands and also the language of the former Dutch colonies. The standard Dutch was constituted in the 17th century, on the basis of the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-The Hague dialect.
In the 14th century, Low German became a supraregional language, used throughout Northern Europe for commercial purposes, and became a kind of standard. In the 17th century, German ousted it in northern Germany. This Low German includes the dialects spoken in North Germany (including Low Saxon), Flemish, Frisian and Dutch.
In Netherlands, the speakers are in a situation of bilingualism because the standard is not the mother tongue of all. Many of them speak a Frankish dialect (ancestor of Dutch), such as Dutch, Brabant, Flemish or Limburgish, or a Saxon dialect (Groningen, Twente). If the language was normalized in the 18th century, because of of history and the moving borders, it did not oust the dialects.
The development of a standard for written language based on the Dutch, Flemish and Brabant dialects dates from the 16th century.
In the 16th century,Jan van Hout and Carel Van Mander exert an influence on the letters of the "renaissance". The poet Hendrik Laurensz Spiegel creates the first grammar. In the 17th Joost Van den Vondel with "lucifer" becomes a European writer. Contantijin Huygens, will be a lyric poet. The Dutch poet Jacob Cats will truffer his works of maxims. Many other poets still illustrate this period: Stalpart Van der Wiele, Revius, Camphuysen, Jan Starter, J. De Dedecker, Dullaert and Jan Luyken.
In the 18th century, three poets: Van Alphen, Bellamy and Pieter Nieuwland brought a revival to national lyricism. R. Feith, elegiac poet announces the 19th. This century is essentially this of the prose writers, the great novelist Louis Couperus will have a lasting influence on the writers to come.
The 20th century, is that of the neo-Romantic poets: J. H. Leopold, Henriette Roland Holst and P. C. Boutens. Poetry is unparalleled in its prosperity with J. Bloem, A. Holst, Greshoff, Van Vriesland, Slauerhoff, and H. Marsman. Subsequently G. Achterberg, Vasalis and Aafjes precede Lucebert's surrealist and enigmatic style, and Schierbeek experimental poet. Remco Campert and Gerrit Kouwenaar indulge to hermetic poetry and surrealist experiences. Van Geel and Kopland will play puns. Some neo-realistic poets are satisfied with a very elaborate verbal exercise. The poets Habakuk of Balker, Mulisch, Faverey play linguistic combinations. At the end of the 20th century the poetry of Jan de Hartog and Alberts retain some realism.
The Netherlands, with the highest density of population in Europe, has the particularity to have about 26% of its area below sea level (the polders).