Émile Verhaeren

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Verhaeren, Émile


Born May 21, 1855, in Saint-Amand, near Antwerp; died Nov. 27, 1916, in Rouen. Belgian poet, dramatist, and critic who wrote in French.

Verhaeren graduated from the faculty of law at Louvain and worked as a lawyer. His first book of poems, The Flemish, which was devoted to the subject of rural Flanders, was published in 1883. The optimistic mood of the book was mingled with the motif of the artist humanist’s anxiety at the ugliness in human relationships, even in the rural world. In the collection of verses The Monks (1886) he created stylized portraits of medieval monks.

The years 1887-90 were a period of spiritual crisis for Verhaeren. The collections Evenings (1887), Disasters (1888), The Black Torches (1890), which are close to decadent poetry, reflect a tragic view of life. In the collection Delusive Fields (1893), Verhaeren described social developments, striving to comprehend the absorption of the patriarchal village by the capitalist town. The anthology Tentacled Towns (1895) uses the image of a town as the focal point of social contrasts. Verhaeren wrote of national insurrection and revolutionary anger as constructive forces. The play Dawns (1898; Russian translation, 1907) is his most brilliant creation as a playwright, expressing the dream of the brotherhood of the workers of all countries and the dream of social revolution.

In the collections Faces of Life (1899), Tumultuous Forces (1902), Manifold Splendor (1906), and Ruling Rhythms (1910), Verhaeren tried to embody in his poetry all the diversity of human creativity, and he glorified art, love, and daring. During World War I he wrote patriotic verse with nationalistic elements (the collection The Red Wings of War, 1916).

Verhaeren also wrote critical works on great painters (Rembrandt, 1904, and Rubens, 1910), writers (Shakespeare, Racine, and Hugo), and the French and Belgian symbolists. Collections of his poems were published in Russia from 1906 (Contemporary Poems) in translations by A. A. Blok, V. Ia. Briusov, M. A. Voloshin, G. A. Shengeli, and others.


Oeuvres, vols. 1-11. Paris, 1912-33.
In Russian translation:
Dramy i Proza. Moscow, 1936.
Izbrannoe. Introductory article by N. Rykova. Moscow, 1955.


Lunacharskii, A. V. O teatre i dramaturgii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1958. Pages 227-28, 765.
Centenaire de Verhaeren. Brussels, 1955.
“Émile Verhaeren: Poète et prophète du monde moderne.” Rencontres (La Louvière), 1966, no. 4 (special number).
Culot, J.-M. Bibliographie de É. Verhaeren. Brussels, 1954.


References in periodicals archive ?
In his later years, Belgian art critic and poet Emile Verhaeren (1855-1916) produced a large body of writings on the arts of the Northern Renaissance by such figures as Rembrandt, Rubens, Memling, Bruegel, and Grunewald in Flanders, Holland, and Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries.
El poeta Emile Verhaeren recorre el Pais Vasco, Navarra, Aragon y Castilla en compania del pintor-escritor Dario de Regoyos alla por 1889.
En una reunion del Circulo, en 1882, conocio al poeta belga Emile Verhaeren (1855-1916), con quien compartio un cuarto de pension en Bruselas; y dio a conocer sus primeros cuadros: El tendido de sombra (referido a la vida cotidiana en Espana) y El mes de Maria en Bruselas.
Guilbeaux often compared Nietzsche and Emile Verhaeren to Whitman, evaluating their respective roles in the development of modern European poetry against a kind of Whitmanian 'yardstick'.
The principal Symbolist poets included Stephane Mallarme, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Jules Laforgue, Henri de Regnier, Gustave Kahn, Emile Verhaeren, Georges Rodenbach, Jean Moreas, and Francis Viele-Griffin.
writing about the life of Emile Verhaeren, the Belgian
As well as looking for exotic new subjects to appeal to 'the stupid buying public', he was in quest of what the Belgian poet and critic Emile Verhaeren termed the 'virginity' of an unspoilt natural existence.
Miguel Angel Lozano Marco subraya la adscripcion unamuniana--motivada tanto por factores de una estetica personal como por sus ideas sociales--al mito de la "Espana negra," orientacion inspirada en observaciones del pintor Dario de Regoyos y del poeta belga, Emile Verhaeren.
He also wrote a psychological novel, Ungeduld des Herzens (1938; Beware of Pity ), and translated works of Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Emile Verhaeren.