Jacques Perk  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jacques Fabrice Herman Perk (Dordrecht, 10 juni 1859 - Amsterdam, 1 november 1881) was een belangrijke Nederlandse dichter. Hij overleed al op 22-jarige leeftijd door een longaandoening, na een kort ziekbed.

Zijn sonnettenkrans Mathilde, uitgegeven door Willem Kloos, vormde de opmaat voor de vernieuwende Beweging van Tachtig in de Nederlandse literatuur. Perks beeldende natuurlyriek, vooral in de vorm van het sonnet, waarin hij - onder invloed van de Engelse dichter Shelley - ingrijpende vernieuwingen toepaste, behoort tot het beste dat op dit gebied in het Nederlands is geschreven en heeft belangrijke invloed gehad op de poëzie van later tijd.


In November 1881 Jacques Perk (born 1860) died, a young poet who had done no more than publish a few sonnets in a journal published by Vosmaer. He was no sooner dead, however, than his posthumous poems, and in particular a cycle of sonnets called "Mathilde", were published (1882) and awakened extraordinary emotion. Perk had rejected all the formulas of rhetorical poetry, and had broken up the conventional rhythms. There had been heard no music like his in Holland for two hundred years.

A group of young men collected around his name. They were joined by a poet-novelist-dramatist somewhat older than themselves, Marcellus Emants (1848–1923). Emants had written a symbolical poem called "Lilith" in 1879 that had been stigmatised as audacious and meaningless; encouraged by the admiration of his juniors, Emants published in 1881 a treatise in the form of a novel in which the first open attack was made on the old school.

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