He won numerous awards, among them the 2003 Constantijn Huygens Prize.
He worked as a teacher in Zwolle. After World War II he made his debut under his own name with the poetry collection “Genesis” (1946).
As Sybren Polet he made his debut in 1949 in the literary magazine Podium, which he served from 1952 to 1965 as an editor. In 1961 he published his first novel “Breekwater” (Breakwater).
His work is counted among that of the Vijftigers, a literary movement from the 1950s in the Netherlands and Belgium.