Gorter, Herman

Gorter, Herman

(hĕr`män gôr`tər), 1864–1927, Dutch poet. He wrote two notable long poems, Mei (1889) and Pan (1912). A Marxian socialist, Gorter was a well-known political journalist.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gorter, Herman


Born Nov. 26, 1864, at Wormerveer; died Sept. 15, 1927, in Brussels. Dutch poet, critic, and public figure.

Gorter studied philology at the University of Amsterdam and worked as a teacher. In 1895 he devoted himself to socialist propaganda, and in 1897 he joined the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of the Netherlands. He began his literary activities in 1885. His lyric poem May, published in 1889, contains descriptions of nature. His collection of verses School of Poetry (1897) shows the influence of the natural philosophy of B. Spinoza. In his Verses (1903), Pan (1912; enlarged form, 1916), and A Little Heroic Verse (1906), he expresses his dreams of socialist revolution. In 1907 he was one of the founders of the left-wing social Democratic newspaper Tribune. In 1909 he became one of the leaders of the left-wing Social Democratic Party of the Netherlands. During World War I he waged a struggle against social chauvinism in Germany and the Netherlands. Lenin referred to Gorter during this period as a staunch internationalist (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, p. 251). He welcomed the October Revolution and in 1919 participated in the creation of the Dutch Communist Party. Subsequently he committed mistakes of an ultra-leftist nature, and in 1921 he left the Dutch Communist Party and founded the Communist Worker’s Party, which held ultra-leftist views. He retired from political life in 1922.


Verzamelde werken, vols. 1–8. Amsterdam, 1948–52.


Roland Holst, H. Herman Gorter. Amsterdam, 1933.
Brandt-Corstius, J. C. Herman Gorter, de mens en dichter. Amsterdam, 1934.
Mussche, A. Herman Gorter, de weinig bekende. Antwerp, 1946.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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