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Arimei Books

The Essential Gorter Volume 1 & 2 : May & Selected Poems - out now!
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- Into Herman Gorter's mind

An extensive selection from Herman Gorter’s main poetic works is now being made available to English readers in excellent translations via the new two-volume set The Essential Gorter, covering the full epic May as well as the most extensive selection in English from a...

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It is not true that this is sunlight.
This is you.
This is not the wind that blues
across the water:
that is not so gentle:
this is you.
This is not the earth and not the heavens –
so beautiful they’re not.
This is you.

- Herman Gorter
From 'Selected Poems' translated by Lloyd Haft

Gorter's bright light -

Following his epic debut masterpiece May in 1889, Herman Gorter continued to expand the boundaries of poetry. As Gorter let his feelings write his poems, he reshaped the rules of rhyme, rhythm, language and meaning in the process. It makes Gorter's work after May quite im...

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May is Editor's Pick at BookLife - Review:

...This thoughtful, lyrical translation will stir the imagination and invite consideration of what makes the heart sing, even if the joy, like May, is only temporary. The poem, though, will endure.

... Kruijff’s translation of Dutch writer Herman Gorte...

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Famous first words -

Gorter started his Mei (May) with what would quickly become the most famous line in Dutch poetry: "Een nieuwe lente en een nieuw geluid" (a new springtime and a new sound), expressing both the theme of youth and a totally fresh approach to poetry. It purposefully brings to m...

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Introductie Lees Mei 2021 (volledige tekst, in Dutch)

Op 13 mei 2021 in Dat Bolwerck, Zutphen, is een speciale editie gehouden van Lees Mei, georganiseerd door Hans Heesen. Twintig liefhebbers lazen Gorters Mei in haar geheel voor. M. Kruijff, die Mei in het Engels vertaalde, verzorgde de introd...

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'She found then, at the highest of sharp mounds
Of barren heather-hills, which formed a round
Fortification of a shallow hole,
A wall about a heath-camp like a bowl
With dark erica, not yet flowery.
She chased a bee that buzzed there hungrily
For honey, stepped into it, disappeared
From the red f...

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'The spring is new and new the sound it brings' - Herman Gorter, 'May', The Netherlands, 1889.

'How often she has now been listening
To the first bird song, when leaves jittering
And skittish flutter up for morning wind,
The swallow flight and buzz of bees begins.'

Photo: Hylke de Vries


'So fell a lot of flowers in the flow;
It took them with it, stuck them to the bounds
Of the estates, and Holland soon was found
Alight with little flames. The pastures' whiff
Fills sails of ships, and rich blossoms adrift
On wind adorn the orchard trees for miles,
No burden to them, they'll jus...

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'The Essential Gorter' now available

'The spring is new and new the sound it brings'.

After 132 years, the epic Dutch classic Mei by Herman Gorter is available to English readers as May, an epic poem about youth, Volume 1 of The Essential Gorter, a translation of Gorter's original that celebrates the carefree springtime of our lives. 

  • Paperback, available worldwide, e.g. here. English only, including introduction and synopsis, second (revised) edition. ISBN 978-90-831336-45. Illustrated eBook, ISBN 978-90-831336-38.
  • Hardcover, bilingual & illustrated, including Dutch original on opposite page: in shops in Netherlands and Belgium or order here. 320 pages:  25,99. ISBN 978-90-831336-14.  
  • Hardcover Special Edition, bilingual, illustrated & annotated: order here. 328 pages: 32,50. ISBN 978-90-831336-21.
  • Softcover, bilingual & illustrated, including Dutch original on opposite page: order here. 320 pages:  20,00. ISBN 978-90-831336-07.

For bookshops : order via CB or Contact button. 

The Essential Gorter Volume 2, Selected Poems translated by Lloyd Haft is out now! An authoritative selection of Gorter's other work, translated by Lloyd Haft. Paperback (€14,99), 214 p., including poems from Verses (Verzen, 1890), Pan and Lyrics (Liedjes). ISBN 978-90-831336-52. Available worldwide, e.g. here.

The Essential Gorter 1 & 2 can be purchased together as a set for the special price of €25,99. ISBN 978-90-831336-76.

An overview of reviews for both books, and of errata to the first edition of May is available here. The second edition of May is revised.

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