‘Het spel wordt tot een nieuwe figuur gevoegd’. Over ‘Awater’ van Martinus Nijhof

Dietlinde Willockx


Although the long poem ‘Awater’ by Martinus Nijhoff has been subjected to many readings, some aspects have not received the attention they deserve. This analysis will focus on two of those: the imagery and the point of view. A careful study of the imagery and its particular functioning in the text as a whole reveals quite a lot on the poem’s period of origin. The changing point of view towards the end of the poem makes possible a new interpretation of the final part and hence of the major themes ‘Awater’ discusses (to lead and to be led). Attention to imagery and point of view makes tangible that ‘Awater’ functions both as a time document and as a universal consideration. In addition, the effects of the imagery and of the shift in point of view appear to be strengthened by the length of the poem, underlining the merits of this special form.

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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521