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Flemish Poetical Exercises

Gezelle's debut was published in August 1858. As a teacher at the minor seminary in Roeselare, he wanted to provide his students with models to inspire them to form a Flemish Catholic poetry school. He based his ideas on the ‘Gothic’ medieval tradition in which religion and art were one. In this regard his work bears strong resemblance to the ‘sacred poetry’ of Keble and Faber, some of whose work he translated. The use of West Flemish dialect forms fits into this perspective, too. He considered it a more authentic expression of the catholic spirit of the people, closer to its medieval origin.

Guido Gezelle
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Vlaemsche dichtoefeningen

Vlaemsche dichtoefeningen. (Flemish Poetical Exercises) Brussel (Brussels)-Roeselare: H. Goemaere-Stock-Werbrouck, 1858. From the second edition onwards: Dichtoefeningen (Poetry Exercises). Leuven (Louvain): K. Fonteyne, 1878 en Roeselare: J. De Meester, 1892.

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