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From the editors

 

Henriette Roland Holst-Van der Schalk’s was born in 1869 in a small village near a popular seaside town in the Netherlands. A special and underestimated woman, who took actively part at the very beginnings of international revolutionary socialism in The Netherlands. She played a big role in the railway strike in 1903 and the socialistic revolution in 1918, she was untill her death in 1952  regarded as the most famous poet in the Dutch language of the previous century. Her working life, which is intertwined with other famous poets and politicians from that time – from Albert Verwey and Herman Gorter till Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotski – contained more than 50 years of different publications and views of a wonderful future till doubtfulness, grave setbacks and dark times in our history.

 

As an uneducated daughter of a notary family, she fought for a way to not let her priveliged background be in her way and chose to, in a time when it was unusual for women to start a career in poetry, after her admittance in the Sociaal-Democratische Arbeiders Partij (sdap, predecessor of the Partij van de Arbeid), start a political career. In her poems she shares her joy in finding socialism, the nature on her land De Oude Buissche Heide near Zundert, and her hope in improving the lives of millions of repressed people; but also her fight on how to shape this new way of life, her disappointment on the disparity in the party within the progressive movement, and doubt on her lonely position as a woman in politics and culture on the fault zone from two centuries, and her return to the Christian faith.

Ronald Holst experienced the same kind of problems, fear and hope as we do now, because she, like us, lived in a time of rapid technological and societal changes. The issues that occupy our time now – a fair distribution of income in society, decolonization, vegetarianism and total abstinence, preservation of nature, women’s rights, societal engagement in the literature and a longing to give meaning outside of the usual paths – occupied her as well, currently more than a century ago.

 

Henriette Roland Holst’s poetry hasn’t been seen in print for decennia. We believe that is unfair. That is why we composed this anthology for her 150th birthday; the bundle has been presented, in the fall of 2019, on various locations with a stage program by Stichting Feest der Poezie, in which performance, music, film and theater of and on Henriette Roland Holst. We aimed to include her most famous poems and works that illustrate her way of life. Due to the fact that the poetic work by Roland Holst is often bound to its time and place, we coupled the poems with contemporary and new portraits quotes from her autobiography Het vuur branded voort and Liefde is heel het leven niet, the biography from Elsbeth Etty. This, we hope, makes the poems more accessible to a more modern audience. Next to that we have, to maintain the original color of her poems, kept the original spelling.

Simon Mulder en Elte Rauch -

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From the editors

 

Henriette Roland Holst-Van der Schalk’s was born in 1869 in a small village near a popular seaside town in the Netherlands. A special and underestimated woman, who took actively part at the very beginnings of international revolutionary socialism in The Netherlands. She played a big role in the railway strike in 1903 and the socialistic revolution in 1918, she was untill her death in 1952  regarded as the most famous poet in the Dutch language of the previous century. Her working life, which is intertwined with other famous poets and politicians from that time – from Albert Verwey and Herman Gorter till Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotski – contained more than 50 years of different publications and views of a wonderful future till doubtfulness, grave setbacks and dark times in our history.

 

As an uneducated daughter of a notary family, she fought for a way to not let her priveliged background be in her way and chose to, in a time when it was unusual for women to start a career in poetry, after her admittance in the Sociaal-Democratische Arbeiders Partij (sdap, predecessor of the Partij van de Arbeid), start a political career. In her poems she shares her joy in finding socialism, the nature on her land De Oude Buissche Heide near Zundert, and her hope in improving the lives of millions of repressed people; but also her fight on how to shape this new way of life, her disappointment on the disparity in the party within the progressive movement, and doubt on her lonely position as a woman in politics and culture on the fault zone from two centuries, and her return to the Christian faith.

Ronald Holst experienced the same kind of problems, fear and hope as we do now, because she, like us, lived in a time of rapid technological and societal changes. The issues that occupy our time now – a fair distribution of income in society, decolonization, vegetarianism and total abstinence, preservation of nature, women’s rights, societal engagement in the literature and a longing to give meaning outside of the usual paths – occupied her as well, currently more than a century ago.

 

Henriette Roland Holst’s poetry hasn’t been seen in print for decennia. We believe that is unfair. That is why we composed this anthology for her 150th birthday; the bundle has been presented, in the fall of 2019, on various locations with a stage program by Stichting Feest der Poezie, in which performance, music, film and theater of and on Henriette Roland Holst. We aimed to include her most famous poems and works that illustrate her way of life. Due to the fact that the poetic work by Roland Holst is often bound to its time and place, we coupled the poems with contemporary and new portraits quotes from her autobiography Het vuur branded voort and Liefde is heel het leven niet, the biography from Elsbeth Etty. This, we hope, makes the poems more accessible to a more modern audience. Next to that we have, to maintain the original color of her poems, kept the original spelling.

Simon Mulder en Elte Rauch -

Statue of the Dutch poet,writer and poli