Skip to main content
The builder of a new awareness


Maarten Inghels

What immediately strikes you about Inghel’s poetry is the loathing for all things false and deceitful. With the skill of a pathologist, in ‘Vigilant’ (Waakzaam, 2011), he dissects the ugliness of hedonism and the aberration of egotism using drawn-out tirades in which the metre jerks and judders, and in which he makes a conscious choice to use ugly, often composite words full of hard consonants, like something posted by a spammer on an Internet forum. In ‘Vigilant’, Inghels rifles through the rubbish bins of language, barking in powerful sound-clashes. Angry and disillusioned, he unmasks the world around him as a ‘false and forged pursuit’ populated by flat characters. But that cold war can also break out in the domain of friendship and love – then love becomes a ‘repeating rifle’, or ‘offal’.

In the dead calm literature in Flanders, the most remarkable debutant in years

The new world will not arrive all by itself. A new awareness has to be built. And that is both a linguistic and a physical process. In Maarten Inghels’ poetry, language acts as the creative force uniting language and the physical in an intimate relationship. In Inghels’ new world, insecurity and suppleness are positive characteristics. Only in insecurity can one be tender, only ‘muscles made supple by jazz’ can lose their rigidity. Music plays a key role, but so do the striking images of water Inghels uses to describe the object of desire.