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Open Access Smeltende torens

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The poem ‘Een psalm voor het smelten’ which Leo Vroman (° 1915) wrote as a reaction to the attack on the New York Twin Towers, illustrates his particular way of writing poetry, his playful and unpretentious use of the language, the surprising combination of a scientifical perspective and human emotion, and a lively tone, offering the reader comfort for his anxieties and fear of death. ‘Een psalm voor het smelten’ was published in the volume Tweede verschiet (2003). It is one of a series of psalms that Vroman wrote in this period and in which he addresses a ‘System’, his particular designation of an ordering principle in life. Vroman’s poem strikes us – and this all the more when compared with other poems on 9/11 – by its unusual perspective, its deliberate refraining from each form of drama, its concentration on the transformation of materials as if describing a physical process and its almost shockingly peaceful depiction of the drama, ending up in a simple statement of complete helplessness. In this way Vroman’s poem avoids the direct melodrama that characterizes many verses on 9/11.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • Internationale Neerlandistiek is het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift van de Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek. Het Nederlandstalige tijdschrift bevordert de dialoog tussen alle wetenschappers die werkzaam zijn op het gebied van de internationale neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek richt zich op de Nederlandse (en Zuid-Afrikaanse) taal- en letterkunde in ruime zin, en heeft daarnaast aandacht voor interculturele aspecten van deze subdisciplines, communicatiewetenschap, didactiek en nieuwe technologie in de vakbeoefening, het verloop van canoniseringsprocessen, vertalen, culturele studies en voor de cultuur van de Lage Landen. Het tijdschrift heeft qua vraagstelling, methode en object een internationaal vergelijkende, en qua auteurs, lezers en verspreiding een internationale dimensie.

    Internationale Neerlandistiek is the scholarly journal of the International Association for Neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek is a Dutch language, peer-reviewed journal with an international focus. The journal aims to improve the discussion in international Dutch (including South-African) linguistics and literature, in the broadest sense, including intercultural aspects of subdisciplines, communication studies, translation, cultural studies and the culture of the Low Countries in general.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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