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.

Original title
De poëzie van Martin Reints
Martin Reints

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
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).
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