Dutch poet, born 1923.

Gerrit Kouwenaar belongs to the so-called "1950s generation" of Dutch poets, de vijftigers. Central to his poetry is the distance between language and reality; words do not describe reality, and the poem can only transcend this distance by becoming part of reality, an object. In the poem, things are fixed, as if in a photograph - preserved, but simultaneously sapped of life. Kouwenaar is entranced with the similarities between poems and visual images (photographs, paintings, and has worked on projects with several pictorial artists.

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