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Herman Gorter

Herman Gorter was a leading member of the Eighties Movement, which had a powerful influence on Dutch writing in the late nineteenth century. The 4,000-verse epic poem May of 1889 sealed his reputation as a great writer and is still regarded as the pinnacle of Dutch Impressionist literature. His collection of short, lyrical poetry Poems of 1890 was likewise hailed as a masterpiece. Collections including The School of Poetry (1897) and Gorter’s endeavours to combine lyricism and social involvement helped him retain his acknowledged significance as a poet. Today his poems are regarded by many as the first modernist works of Dutch poetry.

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(Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep, 1890)

Herman Gorter published Poems of 1890 a year after his highly successful debut collection May. It marked a radical departure, not only for Dutch poetry but in a European context.

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