Diary note 37: Death of Toeti Heraty

26 July 2021

A friend of nearly half a century passed away on the 13th of June 2021. In the seventies I invited her to participate in Poetry International Rotterdam.

As an intellectual, a feminist, a protector of the arts she was unique and will be dearly missed. She also was a bridge between European and Asiatic culture. She maintained her links with Dutch culture, and to the end spoke the language. As a poet she developed a commentary on her own experiences that remained fresh to the end.

Even as her body was giving away to the burdens of old age, her mind remained clear en she clung to her habits. Once a year she would visit Leiden, the university of her doctorate in philosophy, and invite me and other old friends out for pancakes. When I would visit Indonesia her home in Menteng/Jakarta would be my habitual starting point.

She was a good friend. I reproduce the beginning and the end of the long last letter she wrote me on 31 December 2020, still full of the things she wanted to achieve.