Neeltje Maria Min

In 1966, Neeltje Maria Min made a spectacular debut as a 22-year-old with the collection Voor wie ik liefheb wil ik heten (Name me after who I Love). At the time, poetry in the Netherlands was largely a man’s world – and most poets wrote in an experimental style. Min, however, wrote in an understated way, using rhyme, and her theme was family life – particularly its suffocating, claustrophobic aspects.

The poetry of Neeltje Maria Min

The poetry of Neeltje Maria Min

(Prometheus, 1966)

Neeltje Maria Min’s spectacular 1966 debut Voor wie ik liefheb wil ik heten (Name me after who I Love) was an unprecedented success, enjoying reprint after reprint. Min was a literary sensation. She was invited to give interviews and performances, but she said she would rather ‘stay at home’ than stand in the spotlights. Her limited output and the withdrawn attitude she adopted in interviews only added to Min’s enigmatic reputation. In spite of their simple, natural language, the poems, too, seem to contain undisclosed secrets – there sometimes appear to be allusions to incest, to abandonment, to something that must not be said.

Read more