Poetry Special – Gerard Reve

Poetry Special – Gerard Reve
 "Last night I dreamt that I believed in God"

In this programme, devoted to the poetry of Gerard Reve, various poets will be given the floor and special film and sound clips will be featured.

The self-declared popular author Gerard Reve is best-known as the author of some of the classic Dutch novels of the 20th century, such as The Evenings, Werther Nieland, Nearer to Thee and Approaching the End.

Reve’s poetic work is at just as beautiful as his prose, and likewise permeated by the realisation that human love is insufficient, and that man is dependent on God’s mercy. Reve’s religious songs can sometimes be irresistibly funny, or sometimes tragic – but are often a combination of both that is so typical of Reve’s work.

In 1972, Reve declined an invitation to read at the Poetry International Festival. He wrote: ‘Furthermore, I prefer to keep secret the fact that I have also written poems; I won’t sell another book if I’m thought of as being a poet. & who’s going to pay for the baker & the butcher then? Not the Rotterdam Art Foundation. That’s what I mean. I mean: I am a writer, but not an artist, & I would prefer to steer well clear of anything that calls itself an artist.’

But in the afterword of his Collected Poems, he wrote slightly more seriously: ‘...I most [like] religious and mystical poetry, providing that it is genuine and good, for I am a religious author, whether this is to your liking and mine or not: there’s nothing that can be done about it.’


05. Reve. copyright Martijn van de Griendt-Hollandse Hoogte.jpg
 Martijn van de Griendt/Hollandse Hoogte


With the participation of Nop Maas, Peter van Lier, Maria Barnas and others.

Presentation: Nop Maas.

  • Thursday 12 June, 20.15, Little Hall.
  • Language: Dutch

39e Poetry International Festival