Rutger Kopland

Rutger Kopland (1934-2012) is a pseudonym of R.H. van den Hoofdakker. Van den Hoofdakker is the retired psychiatrist and university lecturer, Kopland the poet - two personas who only met in Kopland’s conviction that scientific research is fundamentally no different to the process of writing a poem. He made his debut in 1968 and has published eleven volumes of poetry, two essay collections Het mechaniek der ontroering (The Mechanics of Emotion, 1995) and Mooi maar dat is het woord niet (Beautiful But That’s Not The Word, 1998) and a collection of travel and translation notes Jonge sla in het oosten (Young Lettuces in the East, 1997). Kopland won numerous prizes for his poetry, including the P.C. Hooft Prize 1988, one of the Dutch-speaking world’s most important literary awards. Tot het ons loslaat (Until It Lets Us Go, 1997) was awarded the VSB Poetry Prize 1998.

The Poetry of Rutger Kopland

(G.A. van Oorschot, )

Rutger Kopland is without a doubt one of the Netherlands’ most popular poets and this popularity is due largely to the tone of his poems. Kopland speaks to his readers in a quiet, conversational style, using ostensibly simple phrases. His poems seem to evoke a wistful, almost nostalgic atmosphere of a lost paradise, happiness beneath an apple tree or in the grass, Among the Cattle, to quote the title of his 1966 debut volume. They seem to evoke it.

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