Hans Lodeizen (Naarden, July 20, 1924 - Lausanne, 26 July 1950), born Johannes August Frederik Lodeizen, was a Dutch poet. He was the author of one book of poems (The Wallpaper Within, 1949) and a quantity of miscellaneous work. Despite his short life and modest output, his minimalist lyrics, which are generally constituted of short, unrhymed lines without capitals or punctuation, strongly influenced a post-war generation of Dutch poets, including Gerard Reve (who enjoyed a private correspondence with Lodeizen's father, revealed in 2002 by Lodeizen's Dutch biographer).
Early life and education
Born into an influential family, Lodeizen was raised in great privilege as the son of the director of Müller & Company, an international trading firm. He studied law briefly in Leiden, but took an interest in biology and pursued graduate study at Amherst College in the United States in 1947-1948. There he befriended the poet James Merrill who, after becoming "smitten" with Lodeizen, would describe him many years later as "clever, goodnatured, solitary, blond, / all to a disquieting degree." Lodeizen would lose interest in his graduate biology program and return to Europe to work (reluctantly) for his father's firm; after his diagnosis with leukemia, he spent his last months sustained by blood transfusions in a Swiss sanatorium. He was 26 when he died.
- Het innerlijk behang (The inner wallpaper, 1949, published in March 1950), published by G.A. van Oorschot, Amsterdam; 74 pp.
- Het innerlijk behang en andere gedichten (The inner wallpaper and other poems, L. A. Ries, editor, 1952); 185 pp., 15th edition 1989
- Verzamelde Gedichten (Collected Poems, 1952), G.A. van Oorschot, edited by J.C. Bloem, Jan Greshoff and Adriaan Morriën
- Nagelaten werk (Unfinished Work, 1969); 6th edition 1988
- Verzamelde Gedichten (Collected Poems, 1996), published by G.A. van Oorschot, Amsterdam; 682 pp., second edition 2007
- A Ship of Leaves, Twelve Poems by Hans Lodeizen, selected and translated by Geert Lernout. Toronto: Aliquando Press, 1982.
Koen Hilberdink, Hans Lodeizen. Biografie (2007).
- Merrill, James. A Different Person: A Memoir. New York: Knopf, 2003. See in particular Chapter IV, "Last Hours with Hans," which includes his translation of voor Jim.
- Merrill, James. "Dramatis Personæ", Letter D of The Book of Ephraim, in The Changing Light at Sandover (1982), 2006 edition, p. 12.
- Merrill, James. Collected Poems, New York, Knopf, 2001. Included are Merrill's translations of three Lodeizen lyrics: "The Malleability of Sorrow" (de buigzaamheid van het verdreit), "For My Father" (voor vader), and "The Water" (het water).
Peter Lowensteyn, Dream and Reality, the Poetry of Hans Lodeizen, an excellent English-language web resource (with translations)