July 21, 2024

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A collection of poems by Maurits Van Liedekerke published in the United States: “A Flemish War Poem About Uncle Jang”

A collection of poems by Maurits Van Liedekerke published in the United States: “A Flemish War Poem About Uncle Jang”

In 1989, it was 75 years since Jean-Baptiste von Leidekerk of the Third Regiment of Hunters died in the foot on the Yser front. The man rests in De Panne’s Military Cemetery. He was the uncle of the poet Moritz von Liedekerk from Hern. Following that tragic event, von Leideggerg writes nine poems that together form the cycle ‘For a Soldier of the Great War’. Poems in the collection are in Dutch, French, German and English. “Of course, all four languages ​​refer to the ‘war that never happened’ at the Yser Tower in Dixmuid,” says Maurits Van Liedekerke. “Using that quatrain and translating it into the four languages ​​of Westhoek and northern France at the time was really a symbolic act.”

Earlier this year, a Chilean professor, a certain Luis Cruz-Villalobos, came across the poems of Moritz von Liedekerk via the Internet. Villalobos is a poet and a publisher who focuses his publications on the United States. “He simply asked me if I could publish an English version. Who am I to say no to that?”, says van Lydekerk. “He studied in Amsterdam and was therefore somewhat proficient in Dutch. Perhaps that’s how he discovered the anthology.

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