Dirk Schelte (1639-1714) | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X



Dirk Schelte was an Amsterdam jeweler who published in 1713 an enormous book of poetry, . The book is more or less an account in rhyme in various genres, such as letters, epithalamic poems or epigrams, of his relations with his family, friends, business contacts and colleagues, and as such a representative and at the same time extreme example of occasional poetry. He himself is the center of his attention and he tells with relish the larger or smaller events of his daily life. In this he is the tail-end of the so called anti-idealist poetics of e.g. Constantijn Huygens, whom he admired, and Jan Six van Chandelier. His style, however, is simple and focused on being easily understood. A son in law made a complete calligraphed copy of all Schelte’s poems, as a kind of family monument, thinking they would never be published, but soon after completion of that manuscript, now in the Leiden university library, Schelte decided to have his work printed after all. Because of the subjects, only interesting to direct relations, and the lack of poetic power, his work was soon forgotten or only remembered as a sample of what poetry should not be.


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