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

"Spijt" ("Regret") is a poem by Flemish poet Willem Elsschot. First published in 1934, the poem was reprinted in his 1957 collected works without the final verse paragraph, which contains a possibly controversial term for "woman". The poem, which expresses the guilt and desperate love felt too late by a son for the now-dead mother, is one of Elsschot's best-known works. The last line of the sometimes-omitted paragraph, "Dient het wijf dat moeder heet" ("Serve the bitch known as mother"), has become an oft-cited phrase in Dutch to suggest the difficulty of serving and even portraying motherhood.


From Middle Dutch despijt, from Old French despit (from which also English despite). The first syllable de- was later interpreted as a definite article ("de spijt") and was then dropped.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spijt" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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