Bernlef (1937–) is a highly prolific Dutch poet and author known for his concern with the transient, with what arises from our daily lives and just as swiftly disappears. Themes such as the fragility of our sense of self, of human memory, and of language are important not only in his poems, but also in his many novels. Although he was originally associated with the avant-garde experimentalist movement of the 1950s, his recent poetry has striven for an absolute simplicity and unpretentiousness of language in order to arrive at the true heart of things. His name, Bernlef, is a penname, taken in honour of a blind eighth-century Frisian bard, also Bernlef. Of that Bernlef, only the name survives.