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Martin Reints

The poetry of Martin Reints

Martin Reints is a poet who likes to think. It shows in his poetry. Or, he may be a thinker with a gift for writing poetry. In an interview after the publication of his second collection Lichaam en ziel (Body and soul) he said: ‘Thinking fascinates me. On the one hand you are what you can see, the reality around us, and on the other hand you are what’s in your head. What is the relation between the two?’ In a good-natured, crystal-clear, often humorous manner Martin Reints’s poems probe what he sees around him and what is in his head.

The ‘I’ allows his thoughts to spread, first along the table he is working at, then along the furniture and objects in the room, along the incoming light, the darkness or the sounds in the interior, before dispersing into the outside world. In fact, all Martin Reints’s poems are thought exercises. They are concerned with environment, the passage of time, memory, the relation between the ‘I’ and what surrounds it. The poems are free in form, but very precise, ‘carefully arguing’ (to quote critic Piet Gerbrandy). Rob Schouten expressed it like this: ‘Reints’s poems have a smooth, natural, unconstrained flow; they combine gravity with humour, enjoyment with philosophy, spontaneity with precision. They are a joy to read and don’t leave one’s thoughts untouched.’

I experience the way in which Martin Reints almost says nothing as being incredibly alienating, displaying a sense of wonder that has remained intact, a gripping objectivity and a serene helplessness – and being witty too.

Belgian poet and critic Herman de Coninck

Martin Reints’ poems are marvellous.

Maarten Doorman in Dutch daily *NRC Handelsblad*

Even his announcement that the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy are making straight for each other seems to have a consoling undertone. It is above all a sense of wonder that speaks from his poetry – at the absurdity of the world that surrounds us, and the strong will to maintain that sense of wonder at it.

Victor Schiferli in Dutch daily *Het Parool*

Martin Reints

Martin Reints (b. 1950) has published five collections of poetry. After Waar ze komt daar is ze (Where she comes, there she is, 1981), he waited eleven years to publish the second book: Lichaam en ziel (Body and soul, 1992, Herman Gorter Prize). The next two, Tussen de gebeurtenissen (Between the…

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Details

De poëzie van Martin Reints (2011). Poetry.

Sample translation

English (PDF document)

Publications

Panorama Holland 8

Publisher

De Bezige Bij

Van Miereveldstraat 1
NL - 1071 DW Amsterdam
Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 305 98 10
Fax: +31 20 305 98 24

E-mail:
info@debezigebij.nl
Website:
http://www.debezigebij.nl

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