Inge

Inge Lievaart is a famous poet from The Netherlands and my beloved aunt. She was active from 1944 to 2009 and published a large body of work of which a great deal was religious poetry but nature was also one of her favourite subjects next to human emotions. She also excelled in different styles like Japanese Haiku and Tanka. An often reoccurring theme in her work was the sea and water. No wonder as she was born in Oosterend at the island of Texel. Her father was the headmaster of the very religiously orientated local school and she was religious in her own passionate way but was never forceful about it which I thought was very respectful. Born April 14, 1917 she left Texel for Ridderkerk when she was ten years old. In her later years she wrote a poem about leaving the island called: 'Op Reis Gaan'. You can listen to it by playing the track 'Inge' via this page.

 

 In 1936 her mother died when Inge was 19 and the family moved to Scheveningen where she would live the rest of her life. Together with her younger sister Geerte Lievaart they took care of their father and three brothers. Inge was the oldest of the five children. In 1944, during the German occupation, she published her first poem under the pseudonym Anna Terweel as the proceeds went to people hiding from the Nazis. The so called 'Onderduikers'. 

In Scheveningen she again lived close to the sea in the 'Doornstraat'. I remember staying there and in the evening you could see the flashing light of the lighthouse reflecting on the wall of the bedroom. Scheveningen has a big harbour for fishing boats and other transport vessels. Inge and her family often walked on the beach and the boulevard in the vicinity of the Pier. Always close to the sea. 

Through the long years Inge published many different bundles to great acclaim. In 2007, around her 90th birthday, she still published two new works: one had as central theme communication and the other being a Haiku bundle. In 2009 she stopped working when she was 92.

The other poem that is incorporated in the track 'Inge' here on the webpage, is called 'Relatief'. Its central theme is how relative many things are and that there is always a balance between the positive and the negative. And hope as we can categorise Inge Lievaart as a poet of hope. This was stimulated by her Christian belief but as much by her character and soul. 

On the 15th of October, 2012 Inge Lievaart passed away in her beloved Scheveningen. 95 years old she had lived a rich life. Her poetry lives on and I hope this tribute will bring her new readers who will appreciate her work. 

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Relatief

Golvend staat het riet

langs het golven van de stroom

stromen kan het niet

Het schaap in de wei 

heeft zijn witheid verloren

het graast in de sneeuw

Het hek op de dam

laat niets door houdt niets tegen

dan regen en wind

Ook de modderplas

weerspiegelt het hemellicht

en lijkt dan helder

Alleen op afstand

zie ik hoe mooi dorp en kerk

wil ik er wonen

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Op Reis Gaan

Instappen in het rijtuig

met het paard dat al weg wil

omkijken naar het huis

opeens zo verlaten

zien hoe de straat langer wordt

en langzaam verdwijnt

verdwenen is als de vreugde

vanwege vakantie 

de boot en de trein

nog binnendijks zijn -

door de achterruit kijkend

wee worden van het trekken

van al het bekende 

al verder af

liefst weer terug willen

maar de reis is begonnen

en wie ergens heen gaat

moet ergens vandaan

Voice actor Martin Mens from The Netherlands is a musician and sound engineer who also specialises in voice acting. Martin has released an album with various poetry set to music that is streaming on Spotify among others.

 

He suggested this cooperation and I knew from the start that I wanted it to be special and something in Dutch. That obviously lead to the idea of creating a tribute to my aunt and poet Inge Lievaart.

 

If you like to know more about Martin Mens his voice acting and his album: http://www.martinmens.nl/

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