The Defiant Muse: Dutch and Flemish Feminist Poems
Introduction by Maaike Meijer
The Defiant Muse: Dutch and Flemish Feminist Poems from the Middle Ages to the Present includes poetry by Hadewijch, undeniably the greatest Dutch poet of the 13th-century, whose poems about love are rooted in deep mystical experience; by the 16th-century poet Anna Bijns, the first woman in Dutch literary history to write about sexual desire; and by the 18th-century poet-novelists Elisabeth Wolff-Bekker and Agatha Deken, who lived together for 33 years and co-wrote the first modern Dutch novel. Contemporary poets range from Sonja Pos, who writes about the difficulty of living after the horrors and losses of the Holocaust, to Loes Nobel, whose work draws upon traditional poetic forms from her native Indonesia, to Ely de Waard, who worked as a rock critic and writes ecstatic, explicitly lesbian poetry.
The volume presents poems in the original language, with exquisite English translations on opposite pages. It contains an introduction which places the poems in historical, cultural, and literary perspective, and full bibliographic and biographical notes.