Arimei Books

"The spring is new and new the sound it brings."

When Herman Gorter published Mei (May) in 1889, this spontaneous and vibrant epic poem was immediately recognized by his peers as a landmark work for Dutch literature. Inspired in part by John Keats' Endymion (1818), the poem sings of the journey of May through nature and of her quest for the young god Balder. It touches upon a wide range of themes, including the innocence and wonder of childhood, the hubris and disillusionment of adolescence, unattainable divine love and the inevitability of transcience, The work suggests that poetry itself may be the only way to preserve for eternity the essence of nature and of music.

Mei was perhaps an inevitable product of the artistically revolutionary and highly lucid spirit in The Netherlands of the 1880s. While Gorter's contemporary, Vincent van Gogh, had just completed the groundbreaking Sunflowers series of paintings, Gorter succeeded with Mei to compose his own artistic monument of colourful power and innovation.
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