Should I Go Blind, Yet Barely Born

Gezelle wrote this poem for the inauguration of the statue of Désiré De Haerne in Courtrai. He was involved in educating the blind and the deaf people.

Haerne illustratie 2 003detail

Gezelle's Poem in Braille

Gezelle's poem Al wierd ik blind, nog nauwelijks geboren in braille was read aloud by the blind Gustaf Verhaeghe of Courtrai, student at the Institut Royal des Sourds-Muets & des Aveugles, founded by De Haerne in Brussels. Gezelle is said to have pushed the boy on stage. (See photo above, Beeldbank Kortrijk).

Haerne illustratie 1 003 (Photo, Beeldbank Kortrijk)

Désiré De Haerne

On August 19, 1895, the statue of Désiré De Haerne was inaugurated on the Market Square of Courtrai. Gezelle wrote the tribute verse for that occasion. De Haerne was not only a priest but also a politician. He was preoccupied with the prosperity and the education of the Flemish working class people. In particular he played an important role in the development of the education of the blind and the deaf. A draft version was preserved and also a one-page print with De Haernes photograph. Gezelle also published the poem in the Gazette van Kortrijk and in Biekorf.

From Handwriting to Print

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