poet Richard Minne

Richard Minne

Biography of Richard Minne

Richard Minne poet

Richard Minne (Belgium, 1891 - 1965) counts among Flanders’ most respected poets, but also among its loneliest. The latter should be taken both literally and figuratively: Minne stood alone with his poetry and spent the better part of his life alone. Minne came to maturity at a time in which neo-Classicists and Modernists were engaged in a struggle for domination in the world of poetry: the years following the Great War.

It cannot be claimed that Minne renewed poetry in terms of its external forms – sonnets and rhyme are abundantly present in his work –, but rather in terms of its interior form and tone. As an early forerunner of the Australian poet Les Murray, he employed everyday and on occasion agricultural motifs – as with Murray he lived on a farm for a period of time. Together with unconventional words and dialect, he cast the said motifs in a spoken language reminiscent of the so-called parlando style. He relativised and demystified both the outside world and his work.

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Oh they talk about me.
But what's there they can say?
Shall l dab on some scent
And twist my hair into ringlets, pray?

Translation by Tanis Guest