Aardbeien uit een blauw vergiet 1 edition
With this book, edited in 1972 by the prestigious publishing house of A.W.Sijthoff at Leyde (Netherlands), the dutch philologist, professor of comparative literature and essayist Martien J.G. de Jong (b.1929) made his debute as a poet. Its title, meaning 'strawberries from a blue colander" evokes his happy childhood, which is the theme of an identically titled poem it contains. However it does not not precisely correspond with the mood of the 90-odd remaining verses -rather the opposite.
The collection is divided in three sections, followed by nine extensive annotations, in which the author answers most of the queries his poems are bound to raise, covering as they do, a vast and erudite range of subjects of literary, artistic, historical, social and political character.
The titles given to these three sections ironically attempt to create false expectations in the reader. This is especially the case with the first heading, 'landschappelijk', meaning 'like landscapes'. True, all of its 13 poems refer to concrete different geographies, but most of them show anything but peaceful country scenes, instead they expose inhuman nature, focussing on grim and cruel actual facts of political life in the twentieth century.
The second section, dealing with 'het maatschappelijke' ('re society') understandably cannot be much more admirable for this deeply -albeit hardly politcally- engaged poet. This section ends however with a thankyou to a God of whose existence he is not very sure, for having made both men and women and enable them to "smoothly fit into each other physically."
This poem somehow sets the less aggressive tone for the last group titled 'huiselijk ('homely'). Anger with the cruelty and injustice of the outside world have now ceded to a more philosophical attitude which helps tp recognise with sadness, although not with meek acceptance either, the insufficiency of oneself, the fragility of ideals and death's insulting inevitability.
Aardbeien uit een blauw vergiet
Anekdoten en andere kleine teksten
Published 1974 by A.W.Sijthoff in Leiden (the Netherlands) .