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Anneke Brassinga

Anneke Brassinga - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Anneke Brassinga - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Schaarsbergen, 1948) published her first prose and poetry in 1974 under the pseudonym of A. Tuinman in De revisor. She made her debut as a poet in 1987 with the volume Aurora and as a novelist with Hartsvanger (Heartcatcher). She also won fame with her translations of among others Vladimir Nabokov, Oscar Wilde, Sylvia Plath, Jules Verne and W.H. Auden. Her themes are nature and love, but language as well. She is often lauded for her rich vocabulary and her language virtuoso. In her poetry Brassinga deals intimate pin-pricks. She refused the Nijhoff Prize for her translation of Nabokov's The Gift. She did accept other prizes, such as the Herman Gorter Prize, the Paul Snoek Prize and the VSB Poetry Prize. From the very beginning her poetry was received well by most critics.

Archive available for: Anneke Brassinga

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 1

    The last journey

    It happens a number of times a year in our country: a funeral where no one turns up. There are no surviving relatives or they show no interest in the deceased. The coffin is lowered into the ground under the watchful eye of the civil servant of social services. Enough, some poets thought. Now they write poems for these lonely funerals. Frank Starik, Neeltje Maria Min and Anneke Brassinga on the power of poetry. Dutch spoken.

    The child

    There is a mother in our life, she is
    the ground and knows why we were born,
    wherever we go she leads the way, where even
    we didn't dare to walk - on
    untrod earth in the underworld
    as if she were laid to rest there,
    as if she turned a hundred and nearly became our kid.

    You follow her as if she summoned:
    Klara, daughter, come you're dearly missed.
    Was there no man or animal to talk to?
    The longcase clock struck every quarter, chat-
    tering refrain of silence. Twelve weeks
    you were an orphan - twelve centuries?
    Now rest in peace, be reunited permanently.

    [Anneke Brassinga]