"May 10, 1849, was a day of national mourning for
the Flemish homeland. Between a huge, swelling throng of people,
who were filling the streets of Antwerp, a funeral procession
slowly moved, followed by thousands of people, coming from
all regions of the motherland, to pay their last respects
to the beloved people's poet Theodoor Van Rijswijck, who was
being carried to his grave" - these were the first lines
of the foreword written by J. Staes in the book which contains
the poems of Van Rijswijck.
Jan Theodoor Van Rijswijck was born in Antwerp on July
8, 1811 as the son of a teacher who had bestowed upon his
children a love for poetry, by reading books from masters
like Vondel, Cats and others. According to a biography Theodoor
was in this order: a student-sculptor, a painter of ornaments,
an assistant-teacher and a clerk at a bank. He was also a
poet, it is said that he was a 'political criticists poet'
and a 'lovable poet of the common people'. The last months
of his life he spent in an institution for the mentally ill.
He died on May 7, 1849 aged almost 38.
Theodoor Van Rijswijck often used the Divine Name in
his published poems: