Cycle route Poems by A.C.W. Staring
Lochem, Vorden, Almen
Meet Anthony Christiaan Winand Staring (1767-1840): a country gentleman, agronomist, but best known as a poet. He studied Botany in preparation for maintaining the estate around Wildenborch Castle. He was heir to this castle, so from an early age he knew he would come to own the estate.
Staring stood out in the way he maintained his estate. He had an eye for nature, but also for people. He had a school built on his estate where the children of local farmers and farm workers could go to school. He came up with tools that made land work easier, such as the Brabant foot plough, which he managed to make an improved version of. He served on boards in Gelderland and was 'president of the cantonal council' in Lochem for a year.
Now we remember him mainly as the only Dutch poet of the romantic era. He wrote about legends and about nature and did so with feeling and humour. He turned storytelling into an art form, with witty sentences. One of his best-known works is the poem 'De Hoofdige Boer', after which the hotel in Almen is named. An excerpt from this poem reads as follows:
"Every one knows, where 't Almensch Church stands,
And knows the lane leading to it.
A culvert presses there, under the railway,
His foam into the Berkel:
Already the winter flood waves around,
People come to the sermon with dry feet.
Once it was different here on the rocks,
When a ford intersected the road."
During this cycle route, you will follow in the footsteps of this special poet. You will pass the Staringkoepel, which was commissioned by a daughter of Staring in 1850. In the dome, Staring's poem "Commemoration" hangs on the wall. In the centre of Vorden, you look Staring straight in the eye at his statue. As you cycle through the romantic Achterhoek landscape, you immediately understand where Staring got his inspiration!
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