Come Again by Harry Hoogstraten
This large collection of previously published and unpublished poems, prose and letters by the veteran Dutch poet and artist, Harry Hoogstraten is essentially his collected works up to mid-2015, at least in English.
With a foreword by Heathcote Williams, ‘Come Again’ includes several sections, each featuring poems originally published in limited editions; From The Field, The Organ Works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Boxing Days and Akimbo. Included are poems and prose pieces that initially appeared in poetry magazines, as well as in mainstream press publications such as Rolling Stone, The Sunday Times and The East Village Other.
The previously unpublished (except for 6 photocopied editions) epic title poem ‘Come Again’ is very different to the other poems. These are mostly short poetry prose, often light and playful in nature. ‘Come Again’ is exceptionally long, with an atmosphere all of it’s own. It is also possibly one of the most extraordinary literary works you are ever likely to encounter. Although mostly in English, it uses nine other languages (English, French, Dutch, Flemish, Danish, German, Italian, Greek and Spanish), made-up words and purposeful ‘typos’.
Reading ‘Come Again’, if you can handle it, could be described as being similar to taking a ‘legal high’. Do not worry if you think you cannot understand all (or even any) of the text. According to the author the best way to take ‘Come Again’ is if you “just let it flow into your mind”. This poem is meant to be consumed, perhaps as you might the exotic smells, sounds and voices speaking many languages of a bustling market. Perhaps you can allow yourself some street food… in this case food for the soul.
An interesting ‘Letters’ section includes correspondence between the author and other writers; the eminent (and controversial) Rumanian skeptic Emile Cioran, Raymond Carver and Eddie Woods. There is also a review of the author’s artworks by the poet and photographer Ira Cohen.
And there is more…. This book is in fact a bundle of many treasures, jewels and gold, all carried encoded within its pages. Only a few people know how this is done. Harry Hoogstraten is one of them.
“You’ve got some wild & lovely things in those poems. The 3 Fuck is really beautiful! And the old sushi man!” – Gary Snyder.
“Through this book you watch Harry spin like a ball of mirrors over a dance floor. He reflects (in all senses), but expands with each new scene, discarding the merely fashionable skin, adding body to body. I’m reminded at times of works by Anselm Hollo – not in any imitative meaning – but by a care for the spoken sound of a phrase refreshing the language for a native speaker.” – Tom Raworth (on “Boxing Days” poems).
“I thought you’d be happy to know that, since I am carrying ANDIAMO around with me, I decided to use “The Move” in class one day. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the poem (it stimulated their imaginations). Also, Electa Wiley – a poet who lives here- happened to be visiting my class that morning and she just completely tripped out on the poem. She told me the other day that she thought it said almost everything there is to say about the human spirit and the funky world we find ourselves in. Now, I don’t know about all that, but I agree it is a very beautiful poem.” – Lorenzo Thomas.
“A man who adds many glowing stitches to life’s rich fabric and is still boxing his way out of the box.” – Heathcote Williams
You can order copies of both print (paperback 293 pages) and ebook editions of Come Again by Harry Hoogstraten via the links below:
- US print edition via Amazon.
- UK print edition via Amazon
- Print edition via Barns and Noble.
- UK Kindle Edition Download.
- US Kindle Edition Download+ Rest of the World.
• Prices may vary according to location and rate of the dollar.