Guido Pieter Theodorus Josephus Gezelle (1 May 1830 – 27 November
1899) was an influential writer and poet and a
Roman Catholic priest
from Belgium. He is famous for the use of the
West Flemish dialect.
3 See also
5 External links
He was born in
Bruges in the province of West Flanders, where he also
spent most of his life. He was ordained a priest in 1854, and worked
as a teacher and priest in Roeselare. He was always interested in all
things in English and was given the prestigious right of being the
priest for the 'English Convent' in Bruges. He died there in a small
room, where it is still forbidden to enter.
He was the son of Monica Devrieze and Pieter Jan Gezelle, a Flemish
gardener in Bruges. Gezelle was the uncle of Flemish writer Stijn
Streuvels (Frank Lateur).
There is a museum of his works close by the English convent and also a
small bar named after him.
He tried to develop an independent Flemish language, more or less
separated from the general Dutch language, which had certain more
"Hollandic" aspects. The Dutch he used in his poems was heavily
influenced by the local
West Flemish dialect. His works are often
inspired by his mystic love towards God and Creation. Later, his
poetry was associated with literary Impressionism, and he is
considered a forerunner of that movement.
Gezelle also was a translator of poetry and prose, most famous now for
his translation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha,
published in 1886. He had already read the original at
1856 and was interested in it because on the one hand, the American
Indians fascinated him, and, on the other, he liked its portrayal of
For his linguistical mastery, Gezelle is considered one of the most
important poets of Dutch literature.
Vlaemsche Dichtoefeningen (1858)
Gedichten, Gezangen en Gebeden (1862)
Longfellows Song of Hiawatha (translation, 1886)
Laatste Verzen (1901)
Media related to
Guido Gezelle at Wikimedia Commons
Guido Gezelle Museum
Guido Gezelle at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about
Guido Gezelle at Internet Archive
Guido Gezelle at
LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
ISNI: 0000 0001 1029 1452
BNF: cb121476014 (data)