Grand Larcenies by , translation: Paul Evans
(Carcanet Press, 2021, 224 pages)
Grand Larcenies features generous selections from the work of ten classic modern Dutch poets: Eva Gerlach, Gerrit Kouwenaar, Hester Knibbe, Hans R. Vlek, Rob Schouten, Willem van Toorn, J. Eijkelboom, H.H ter Balkt, K. Michel, and Esther Jansma.
The translator, a notable Welsh poet and writer now living in the Netherlands, takes his bearings from Robert Minhinnick’s seminal Welsh anthology The Adulterer's Tongue, which attempts by means of experiment rather than rigid linguistic fidelity to approach the imaginative core of the original.
‘These versions take risks,’ Evans declares; ‘they are no black-and-white photocopy, but they honour the originals’ forms and intentions, making audible a wide array of individual styles and voices, and a Dutch sensibility that is both familiar and alien to us.’
A dual-language edition.
‘One senses that Dutch poetry is, by and large, highly intelligent and even, perhaps, a tad cerebral. It is not inclined to harangue the reader or wear its heart on its sleeve. It presumes that the reader, like the poet, is literate and mature...The work casts its spell slowly. Beautifully rendered by Evans.’ – David Cooke, The High Window