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Sonnets to stay awake


Kurt De Boodt

For Kurt De Boodt poetry is word art. He sees every collection as a new exploration.  He is not that well-known by a large audience, but his poems are greedily enjoyed by connoisseurs. His poems are especially loved by readers who love the richness of the Dutch language and the sounds it can evoke, readers who know to embrace the language plays the poet enfolds in every poem. By using end rhyme, assonances and dissonances, repetition of sounds in different words that follow upon each other or the mere repetition of words, Kurt De Boodt’s poetry displays a musicality that is seldomly heard of in Dutch-language poetry. Niko Westelinck turned two poems into songs and we included them on this page to illustrate that sound is at the core of De Boodt’s poetry.

Meanwhile, 'Wake' is a collection that leaves deep traces. A paradoxical feast.

In his latest collection Kurt De Boodt has a wake. For a child that is outgrowing him. For the little boy he once was and who learned at the playground what a group of people was capable of. He holds vigil for the broken world the twentieth century left behind and commutes in his poems between the very personal and the public domain. In ‘Wake’, Kurt De Boodt explores his own virtuoso way of writing sonnets. The knowledge of being restrained by different sorts of bonds and the constant longing for freedom put his poems under high pressure.  At the end of the journey there is only one defence left for him as well as for us: stay awake.

Poetry film 'Neo' (translation Emma Rault) by Kurt De Boodt and Jan Weynants