The Flemish poet Karel van de Woestijne (Ghent 1878–1929) is part of the reaction to symbolism in the form of post symbolism. In her book on post-symbolism, The Fiction of the Poet, Anna Balakian sees that development especially in the area of the symbol: “What strikes me in the progression of the symbolist mode is the passage from allegory (unilateral correspondences) to symbol, from metaphoric closing to the openended metonymy, and finally to the evocative power discovered in the single word serving as a prism for associations and significances.” My contribution, however, shows that allegory and symbol do not exclude each other. Van de Woestijne’s affinity with post-symbolism is revealed first of all in a strong accent on ‘life’ in combination with a mystical sensitivity and then later in a kind of imagery which is no longer simply symbolic or allegorical, but can be defined as open and closed at the same time. I shall demonstrate this using the example of one of the odes from his book of poetry Tired Heart (1924), which demonstrates Van de Woestijne’s metaphorical realism: the realistic description at the beginning of the poem turns to be an extended metaphor (allegory) that must be read symbolically. By using abstractions and the further, bold (metonymical) elaboration of the central images of house and light, the poem suddenly gains radical openness and unexpected modernity..