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An ode to tranquillity and simplicity that still rings true today

Collected Poems

Richard Minne

In 1927, Richard Minne published his poetry debut, ‘Open House’, which was to be one of the few publications that would appear during his lifetime. He himself primarily concentrated on writing; it was mainly thanks to his friends that his work was actually published.

With its mild mockery and astute imagery, Richard Minne’s work is still an absolute pleasure to read

Minne sat for hours on end contemplating each piece of writing in order to find the perfect wording. It is no coincidence that Minne’s enormous talent shines the brightest in his magnificent short poems. Farm life, recommended in 1923 by a doctor to the highly-strung Minne, plays an especially important role in these poems. To Minne, farm life became the perfect metaphor for life as a whole. Far away from a grand or inescapable bourgeois life, the farmer calmly ploughs on, living through his personal struggle with existence.

In a time when competing upheavals and –isms came successively at break-neck pace, Minne searched for and found his own voice, which made no attempts at pathos, sentimentality or exaggerated optimism in progress. With its inimitable blend of minimalism and irony, Minne’s poetry was remarkable, accessible and subversive right from the outset.

Possibly the greatest Flemish poet of the 20th century. High time for a rediscovery.
De Standaard