Uit: Shalimar The Clown
“At twenty-four the ambassador’s daughter slept badly through the warm, unsurprising nights. She woke up frequently and even when sleep did come her body was rarely at rest, thrashing and flailing as if trying to break free of dreadful invisible manacles. At times she cried out in a language she did not speak. Men had told her this, nervously. Not many men had ever been permitted to be present while she slept. The evidence was therefore limited, lacking consensus; however, a pattern emerged. According to one report she sounded guttural, glottal-stoppy, as if she were speaking Arabic. Night-Arabian, she thought, the dreamtongue of Scheherazade. Another version described her words as science-fictional, like Klingon, like a throat being cleared in a galaxy far, far away. Like Sigourney Weaver channeling a demon in Ghostbusters. One night in a spirit of research the ambassador’s daughter left a tape recorder running by her bedside but when she heard the voice on the tape its death’s-head ugliness, which was somehow both familiar and alien, scared her badly and she pushed the erase button, which erased nothing important. The truth was still the truth.
These agitated periods of sleep-speech were mercifully brief, and when they ended she would subside for a time, sweating and panting, into a state of dreamless exhaustion. Then abruptly she would awake again, convinced, in her disoriented state, that there was an intruder in her bedroom. There was no intruder. The intruder was an absence, a negative space in the darkness. She had no mother. Her mother had died giving her birth: the ambassador’s wife had told her this much, and the ambassador, her father, had confirmed it. Her mother had been Kashmiri, and was lost to her, like paradise, like Kashmir, in a time before memory. (That the terms Kashmir and paradise were synonymous was one of her axioms, which everyone who knew her had to accept.) She trembled before her mother’s absence, a void sentinel shape in the dark, and waited for the second calamity, waited without knowing she was waiting. After her father died—her brilliant, cosmopolitan father, Franco-American, “like Liberty,” he said, her beloved, resented, wayward, promiscuous, often absent, irresistible father—she began to sleep soundly, as if she had been shriven. Forgiven her sins, or, perhaps, his. The burden of sin had been passed on. She did not believe in sin.”
Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)
Vannacht is een minuut
met de minuut van een
nog nieuwe zin tezaamgeklonken,
versnelde rust van een begin,
geen venster heeft het evenwicht verbrijzeld,
de dag is haast doorzichtig tin
in platen van beheersing opgetrokken,
waartegen ’t licht met gouden stokjes
klinkt en slaat;
dit is het plein, dit is de straat.
Als nu de tijd niet in zal slaan
is dit geluk als cellofaan,
de nieuwe beelden zijn
tegen ’t verleden aan;
zonder lijn en wet
is het geluk gezet;
de woorden springen aan in weelde
Ik zeg. Zeg niets. Niets zeg ik dan: Wij. Het splijt
dikwijls maar ís, immers heeft een soort. gewicht
van 34.3, atoomnummer 2:2 protonen (jij
en ik), 2 neutronen (?) en een heel kleine neutrino.
Onder het uitzenden van een λ -deeltje
ontwikkelen wij een zo sterke erotische warmte
– gelijk aan zes volledige echtparen in hun eerste graad
van kennismaking – dat wij materiemystici oplossen
in licht. Neutraal is de witheid
die niets omringt, niets is, niets
Geen biochemicus zweeft voorbij. Geen supersonische engel
ruist. – Geen adem, geen adat, geen Adam.
Sybren Polet (Kampen, 19 juni 1924)
To the Philippines
Aglowing and fair like a houri on high,
Full of grace and pure like the Morn that peeps
When in the sky the clouds are tinted blue,
Of th’ Indian land, a goddess sleeps.
The light foam of the son’rous sea
Doth kiss her feet with loving desire;
The cultured West adores her smile
And the frosty Pole her flow’red attire.
With tenderness, stammering, my Muse
To her ‘midst undines and naiads does sing;
I offer her my fortune and bliss:
Oh, artists! her brow chaste ring
With myrtle green and roses red
And lilies, and extol the Philippines!
Memories of My Town
When I recall the days
That saw my childhood of yore
Beside the verdant shore
Of a murmuring lagoon;
When I remember the sighs
Of the breeze that on my brow
Sweet and caressing did blow
With coolness full of delight;
When I look at the lily white
Fills up with air violent
And the stormy element
On the sand doth meekly sleep;
When sweet ‘toxicating scent
From the flowers I inhale
Which at the dawn they exhale
When at us it begins to peep;
I sadly recall your face,
Oh precious infancy,
That a mother lovingly
Did succeed to embellish.
I remember a simple town;
My cradle, joy and boon,
Beside the cool lagoon
The seat of all my wish.
Oh, yes! With uncertain pace
I trod your forest lands,
And on your river banks
A pleasant fun I found;
At your rustic temple I prayed
With a little boy’s simple faith
And your aura’s flawless breath
Filled my heart with joy profound.
Saw I God in the grandeur
Of your woods which for centuries stand;
Never did I understand
In your bosom what sorrows were;
While I gazed on your azure sky
Neither love nor tenderness
Failed me, ‘cause my happiness
In the heart of nature rests there.
Tender childhood, beautiful town,
Rich fountain of happiness,
Of harmonious melodies,
That drive away my sorrow!
Return thee to my heart,
Bring back my gentle hours
As do the birds when the flow’rs
Would again begin to blow!
But, alas, adieu! E’er watch
For your peace, joy and repose,
Genius of good who kindly dispose
Of his blessings with amour;
It’s for thee my fervent pray’rs,
It’s for thee my constant desire
Knowledge ever to acquire
And may God keep your candour!
José Rizal (19 juni 1861 – 30 december 1896)
Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 19 juni 2007.
De Duitse dichter en schrijver Friedrich Huch werd geboren op 19 juni 1873 in Braunschweig.
De Duitse schrijver en pastor Gustav (Benjamin) Schwab werd geboren op 19 juni 1792 in Stuttgart.