Czesław Miłosz, José Emilio Pacheco, Georges Duhamel, Mongo Beti, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, John Gay

De Poolse dichter, schrijver en Nobelprijswinnaar Czesław Miłosz werd geboren in Šeteniai op 30 juni 1911. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2006 en ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2007.

Child of Europe

1
We, whose lungs fill with the sweetness of day.
Who in May admire trees flowering
Are better than those who perished.

We, who taste of exotic dishes,
And enjoy fully the delights of love,
Are better than those who were buried.

We, from the fiery furnaces, from behind barbed wires
On which the winds of endless autumns howled,
We, who remember battles where the wounded air roared in
paroxysms of pain.
We, saved by our own cunning and knowledge.

By sending others to the more exposed positions
Urging them loudly to fight on
Ourselves withdrawing in certainty of the cause lost.

Having the choice of our own death and that of a friend
We chose his, coldly thinking: Let it be done quickly.

We sealed gas chamber doors, stole bread
Knowing the next day would be harder to bear than the day before.

As befits human beings, we explored good and evil.
Our malignant wisdom has no like on this planet.

Accept it as proven that we are better than they,
The gullible, hot-blooded weaklings, careless with their lives.

2
Treasure your legacy of skills, child of Europe.
Inheritor of Gothic cathedrals, of baroque churches.
Of synagogues filled with the wailing of a wronged people.
Successor of Descartes, Spinoza, inheritor of the word ‘honor’,
Posthumous child of Leonidas
Treasure the skills acquired in the hour of terror.

You have a clever mind which sees instantly
The good and bad of any situation.
You have an elegant, skeptical mind which enjoys pleasures
Quite unknown to primitive races.
Guided by this mind you cannot fail to see
The soundness of the advice we give you:
Let the sweetness of day fill your lungs
For this we have strict but wise rules.

3
There can be no question of force triumphant
We live in the age of victorious justice.

Do not mention force, or you will be accused
Of upholding fallen doctrines in secret.

He who has power, has it by historical logic.
Respectfully bow to that logic.

Let your lips, proposing a hypothesis
Not know about the hand faking the experiment.

Let your hand, faking the experiment
No know about the lips proposing a hypothesis.

Learn to predict a fire with unerring precision
Then burn the house down to fulfill the prediction.

4
Grow your tree of falsehood from a single grain of truth.
Do not follow those who lie in contempt of reality.

Let your lie be even more logical than the truth itself
So the weary travelers may find repose in the lie.

After the Day of the Lie gather in select circles
Shaking with laughter when our real deeds are mentioned.

Dispensing flattery called: perspicacious thinking.
Dispensing flattery called: a great talent.

We, the last who can still draw joy from cynicism.
We, whose cunning is not unlike despair.

A new, humorless generation is now arising
It takes in deadly earnest all we received with laughter.

5
Let your words speak not through their meanings
But through them against whom they are used.

Fashion your weapon from ambiguous words.
Consign clear words to lexical limbo.

Judge no words before the clerks have checked
In their card index by whom they were spoken.

The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason.
The passionless cannot change history.

6
Love no country: countries soon disappear
Love no city: cities are soon rubble.

Throw away keepsakes, or from your desk
A choking, poisonous fume will exude.

Do not love people: people soon perish.
Or they are wronged and call for your help.

Do not gaze into the pools of the past.
Their corroded surface will mirror
A face different from the one you expected.

7
He who invokes history is always secure.
The dead will not rise to witness against him.

You can accuse them of any deeds you like.
Their reply will always be silence.

Their empty faces swim out of the deep dark.
You can fill them with any feature desired.

Proud of dominion over people long vanished,
Change the past into your own, better likeness.

8
The laughter born of the love of truth
Is now the laughter of the enemies of the people.

Gone is the age of satire. We no longer need mock.
The sensible monarch with false courtly phrases.

Stern as befits the servants of a cause,
We will permit ourselves sycophantic humor.

Tight-lipped, guided by reasons only
Cautiously let us step into the era of the unchained fire.

(New York,1946)

milosz

Czeslaw Milosz (30 juni 1911 – 14 augustus 2004)

 

De Mexicaanse schrijver, dichter, essayist en vertaler José Emilio Pacheco werd geboren in Mexico City op 30 juni 1939. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2007.

The Great Inquisitor

Sir, keep silence or we will shut your mouth
with a whipping.
We will disable it under the red-hot iron.
With the tongs of the Law we will twist your tongue.

Do not force us to resort to extremes.
Keep silence. Shut up. Do not speak.
The judge is not to be judged.
He dispenses justice, he decides all.
He is the mind that thinks in our place.

Whereas you are nobody, you don’t know anything.
You are merely called the accused.
How presumptuous of you to aspire to defend yourself.

Do you suppose that in the valley of Jehoshaphat
you would dare rebuke God the Father
for the just form in which he shaped this world?

Are you aware of it? You are guilty of a crime.
You will not know which, you will not know which,
you will die not knowing.
You must pay for it. And in such a way.

No, no: do not open your mouth. Do not interrupt.
Respect the Judge and his High Office.
He is the law, he is here to judge you.
You are in danger of becoming guilty
of Lese Majesty. Acept and be quiet.

Do you wish, sir, that I lose my patience?
Do not force me to exit from my right mind.
I will add to your account of sins
the nefarious crime of blasphemy.

Do not come to me with that rubbish of human rights.
You are no longer human: you are the enemy.
Do see in this patter a formal pretext
that covers up and conceals the dossier.

In a few moments we will make an offering of your body
on the altar of the Good, of Goodness and Fraternal Order.

 

Vertaald door Nicolás Suescún.

Jose_Emilio_Pacheco

José Emilio Pacheco (Mexico City, 30 juni 1939)

 

De Franse romanschrijver en essayist Georges Duhamel werd geboren op 30 juni 1884 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2007.

Uit: Israël, clef de l’Orient

Est-il possible de regarder sans étonnement et sans malaise la carte géographique de cette région du Proche-Orient ? Je ne le crois pas. J’ai cent fois repris cette carte, au cours de mon voyage, et, cent fois, j’ai fait des vœux pour que de nouvelles répartitions du sol puissent tracer des frontières plus logiques, moins absurdes, moins fatalement menacées par les incidents d’une guérilla dont on n’aperçoit pas le terme. Les peuples dits arabes, parce qu’ils ont été finalement soumis à la religion musulmane, puis aux confuses disciplines de la Ligue arabe, ces peuples, souvent, m’ont inspiré de la pitié, et même de la sympathie.  J’ai fait de fréquents séjours en pays d’Islam.  J’ai vu ces foules misérables, sous-alimentées, exploitées depuis des siècles par des souverains ou des féodaux que l’égoïsme retranche des multitudes parmi lesquelles ils vivent en parasites, et cela depuis le Maroc jusqu’aux rives du Golfe Persique. S’il est aisé de fanatiser ces pauvres gens, il est difficile de les ramener au calme. Les événements du Proche-Orient, depuis le coup de force tenté par le dictateur égyptien, ont fait apparaître au grand jour les ambitions des hommes et des groupements politiques. Les chanteurs de  l’Internationale ont favorisé de mille manières la nationalisation d’une grande voie maritime, internationale dès le principe. Les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, oubliant les devoirs que leur dicte leur position à la tête des nations occidentales, ont montré que la ruse a souvent le visage et la démarche de l’erreur. Un seul pays a prouvé qu’il savait ce qu’il voulait  qu’il demandait seulement la paix et les moyens de travailler, et ce pays, c’est Israël. Une seule nation a compris, salué, secondé l’admirable effort d’Israël, et c’est la France. Dans cette douloureuse épreuve, l’O.N.U. a fait mesurer une fois de plus et ses vices de structure et sa lamentable impuissance, l’O.N.U. qui donne, aveuglément, la même capacité électorale à des nations qui ont une longue et glorieuse histoire, aussi bien qu’à de vagues peuplades qui ne peuvent s’enorgueillir d’un seul homme remarquable, l’O.N.U. qui ferme les yeux devant les crimes des puissants et se montre impitoyable envers de petits Etats qui n’ont pour toute fortune que leur courage et leur génie. »

duhamel

Georges Duhamel (30 juni 1884 – 13 april 1966)

 

De Kameroense schrijver Mongo Beti (eig. Alexandre Biyidi) werd geboren op 30 juni 1932 in Mbalmayo, een klein dorp ten zuiden van Yaoundé. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2007.

Uit: Peuples noirs – peuples Africains

“Dix-huit ans après les indépendances, voici enfin une publication noir importante contrôlée financièrement, idéologiquement et techniquement par des Africains francophones noirs, et par eux seuls.

Voici la première grande publication noire francophone totalement indépendante non seulement des gouvernements africains, mais aussi de tous les hommes, de toutes les institutions, de tous les organismes derrière lesquels se dissimule habituellement le néo-colonialisme de Paris : chefs d’État soi-disant charismatiques, coopération, assistance technique, francophonie, etc.

Voici la première grande publication noire francophone résolue à proclamer aussi ouvertement qu’il le faudra la seule vérité qui, aujourd’hui, tient à cœur à tous les Noirs également : l’Afrique rejette désormais toutes les tutelles, celle de Paris autant que celle de Washington, celle de Moskou aussi bien que celle de Pékin…

Voici enfin une publication noire francophone décidée à conformer sa pratique à cet axiome : le capitalisme, voilà l’ennemi mortel de l’Afrique. »

Beti

Mongo Beti (30 juni 1932 – 8 oktober 2001)

 

De Engelse dichter Thomas Lovell Beddoes werd geboren op 30 juni 1803 in Clifton. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2007.

Ballad Of Human Life

WHEN we were girl and boy together,
We toss’d about the flowers
And wreath’d the blushing hours
Into a posy green and sweet.
I sought the youngest, best,
And never was at rest
Till I had laid them at thy fairy feet.
But the days of childhood they were fleet,
And the blooming sweet-briar-breath’d weather,
When we were boy and girl together.

Then we were lad and lass together,
And sought the kiss of night
Before we felt aright,
Sitting and singing soft and sweet.
The dearest thought of heart
With thee ’t was joy t
o part,
And the greater half was thine, as meet.
Still my eyelid’s dewy, my veins they beat
At the starry summer-evening weather,
When we were lad and lass together.

And we are man and wife together,
Although thy breast, once bold
With song, be clos’d and cold
Beneath flowers’ roots and birds’ light feet.
Yet sit I by thy tomb,
And dissipate the gloom
With songs of loving faith and sorrow sweet.
And fate and darkling grave kind dreams do cheat,
That, while fair life, young hope, despair and death are,
We ’re boy and girl, and lass and lad, and man and wife together.

beddoes

Thomas Lovell Beddoes (20 juni 1803 – 26 januari 1849)

 

De Engelse dichter en dramaturg John Gay werd op 30 juni 1685 geboren in Barnstaple, Devon. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juni 2007.

IF LAWYER’S HAND IS FEE’D

A FOX may steal your hens, sir,
A whore your health and pence, sir,
Your daughter rob your chest, sir,
Your wife may steal your rest, sir,
A thief your goods and plate.

But this is all but picking,
With rest, pence, chest and chicken;
It ever was decreed, sir,
If lawyer’s hand is fee’d, sir,
He steals your whole estate.

gayjohn

John Gay (30 juni 1685 – 4 december 1732)