Hugues C. Pernath is the attractive literary pseudonym of Hugo Wouters, who was born in the suburbs of Antwerp

At the age of sixteen he volunteered for the Belgian army in order to escape the friction between his parents, who were in the process of divorcing. At the beginning of the 1950s his first poems were published in the avant-garde magazine Het Cahier. From 1955 on, with Paul Snoek and Gust Gils, he became the driving force behind the magazine gard-sivik and a pivotal figure in the second experimental generation in Flanders. In 1957, when Paul Snoek for called up for military service in the Belgian army, he and the professional soldier Hugues Pernath wrote each other poetic letters. A selection appeared as Soldatenbrieven in 1961. Their work had thematic affinities, but their approach to poetry was totally different. Pernath favoured autonomous literature, Snoek a romantic-expressive style.

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Hugues C. Pernath Poems

I am not sad, no tenderness attracts me

I am not sad, no tenderness attracts me,
No body will ever be able to feel mine
No other ear my confusion, my unease
In the speechless torment of language.... more »

I no longer belong but control the trembling

I no longer belong but control the trembling
Ablaze and senile, sleepless in the past
In the things that have happened, the things
Of the days, I conjugate the pledges of pain... more »

I dwelt in the corridors of come and go

I dwelt in the corridors of come and go
In the boundless dismay of tacky colours
Nothing's still true, no sun splits open.
No son will ever speak in this handful of life... more »

Hugues C. Pernath Quotes

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