Breyten Breytenbach, James Alan McPherson, Michael Nava, Hans Arp

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver en dichter Breyten Breytenbach werd geboren op 16 september 1936 in Bonnievale. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Breyten Breytenbach op dit blog.


Voor Juan Carvajal

het vlees van hoeren is treurig
ik heb ze zien staan
met de donkere kreet tussen de dijen
langs de boulevard die de zee
omzoomde en afstootte
onder een hemel vol sterren
als dode vissen

het vlees van hoeren is triest
ik heb ze naakt zien liggen
in de woorden en de handen
van dichters en schilders
die de dood in leven
probeerden te houden
dingen zijn de verdonkeremaande
betekenis van dingen

ik heb in de tuin gezeten
en de schelle kreet van de papegaai
in de palmboom gehoord
en het hartzeer van het leven
groeide in mij aan
als een donkere vrucht
als een hoerenhart


Blind op reis

ek het in die skadu van Witberg oornag
maar om die berg se hoë slape
oor die silwer slaaprnus van ewige sneeu
kon ek die kranse lig sien beef
so groot so onaantasbaar so wit
so hoog kom my begrip nooit na bo
en deur my vingers het ek die bidkrale
van sterre probeer tel
om jou naam weer te proe
om jou bitter naam soos ligte druppels
reën op my tong te vang om jou naam
soos’ n afgod in my droom se grond te plant
‘n god om my verdere reis te seën
want met die roep van jou naam
met die bloed van jou naam in my mond
kruip ek al hoe yler al hoe witter skuinstes uit

Vertaald door: Krijn PeterHesselink


Das Treffen

wenn mein Herz zu mir kommt

durch die Nacht

duften die Gassen wo Pferdekarren

klappernd schwarze Abfallsäcke


nach den verlorenen Blüten

des Frangipani-Baums

wenn mein Herz zu mir kommt

durch die Nacht

stelle ich einen Tisch ans Fenster

mit Brot und Wein und süßen

dunklen Trauben

und schreibe dieses kleine Gedicht

wie ein ausgereifter Papiermond

aus Warten

ein Echo jenes anderen aus weißem Stein

der dort draußen

durch die Nacht reist

wo dunkle Männer ihre Pferde antreiben

wenn mein Herz zu mir kommt

durch die Nacht

wenn das Warten

voller Worte ist

essen wir die Feigen, trinken den Wein

und schlafen mit dem Mond

Vertaald door Uljana Wolf


Breyten Breytenbach (Bonnievale, 16 september 1936)


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Alan McPherson werd geboren op 16 september 1943 in Savannah, Georgia. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 september 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 september 2010


Uit: Hue and Cry. Stories

“Don’ you ever get married, boy,” Arthur, one of the meaner drunks with a missing eye, told him on several occasions.

The first time he had said it the boy had asked: “Why not?”

“Cause a bitch ain’t shit, man. You mind you don’ get married now, hear? A bitch’ll take all yo’ money and then throw you out in the street!”

“Damn straight!” Leroy, another drunk much darker than Arthur and a longshoreman, said. “That’s all they fit for, takin’ a man’s money and runnin’ around.”

Thomas would sit on the stoop of an old deserted house with the men lying on the ground below him, too lazy to brush away the flies that came at them from the urine-soaked dirt on the hot Sunday mornings, and he would look and listen and consider. And after a few weeks of this he found himself very afraid of girls.

Things about life had always come to Thomas Brown by listening and being quiet. He remembered how he had learned about being black, and about how some other people were not. And the difference it made. He felt at home sitting with the waiting drunks because they were black and he knew that they liked him because for months before he had stopped going to church, he had spoken to them while passing, and they had returned his greeting. His mother had always taught him to speak to people in the streets because Southern blacks do not know how to live without neighbors who exchange greetings. He had noted, however, when he was nine, that certain people did not return his greetings. At first he had thought that their silence was due to his own low voice: he had gone to a Catholic school for three years where the black-caped nuns put an academic premium on silence. He had learned that in complete silence lay his safety from being slapped or hit on the flat of the hand with a wooden ruler. And he had been a model student. But even when he raised his voice, intentionally, to certain people in the street they still did not respond. Then he had noticed that while they had different faces like the nuns, whom he never thought of as real people, these nonspeakers were completely different in dress and color from the people he knew. But still, he wondered why they would not speak.“


James Alan McPherson (Savannah, 16 september 1943)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Michael Nava werd geboren op 16 september 1954 in Stockton, Calefornië. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 september 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 september 2010


Uit: Rag And Bone

“Tom Donovan for the respondent, the People,” the A.G. was saying.

“Mr. Rios, if you’re ready,” Dahlgren said.

“Yes,” I replied, and went to the podium. The justices regarded me dubiously. “Not to be impertinent, but I can see from Your Honors’ faces that you’re less than thrilled with another Three Strikes case on your docket.”

Harkness permitted herself a smile, but Dahlgren said, “It’s fair to say, counsel, that you’re not the first lawyer to argue that Three Strikes is cruel and unusual punishment, so maybe we can cut this short. Every appellate court that’s considered the issue has held that sending repeat felons to prison for life upon conviction of their third felony does not violate either state or federal constitutional proscriptions against cruel and unusual punishment. What’s your pitch?”

“My pitch, Your Honor,” I said “is that this law is an abomination. In this case, it’s sending my client to prison for the rest of his life because he got into a tussle with a security guard in the parking lot of a supermarket from which he had stolen a case of infant formula for his eight-month-old daughter.”

Justice Harkness leaned forward. “He was convicted of robbery,” she said. “The law doesn’t distinguish between stealing diamonds and stealing baby food, Mr. Rios, where the theft is accomplished by force or fear.”

“He committed robbery only in the narrowest sense of the statute because he bumped the security guard with a shopping cart. Technically, that’s force, but come on, this is L.A., where people shoot each other for parking spaces.”

Justice Harkness shook her head. “The security guard was a woman who was five inches shorter and forty pounds lighter than your client.”

“Your Honor, with all due respect, she was asked on cross-examination if she was afraid, and she said no. There was no fear and the force was minimal. The Three Strikes law doesn’t distinguish between stealing diamonds and stealing baby food, which is why this court must.”

The third justice, Rogan, said, “I agree.”

“You do?” The surprise was so evident in my voice that the lawyers in the gallery burst into laughter. But it wasn’t surprise they had heard; it was the shooting pains in my arm and the waves of nausea that continued to sweep through me.

“I do,” Rogan said when the laughter subsided. “But Mr. Rios, Three Strikes doesn’t just punish the current felony, it also punishes defendants for past serious felony convictions. Your client has a record as long as Pinocchio’s nose.”

“But only two convictions are qualifying strikes,” I said, “and those were insignificant burglaries…”

“Insignificant by what standard?” Harkness asked.“


Michael Nava (Stockton, 16 september 1954)


De Frans-Zwitserse kunstenaar, dichter en schrijver Hans (Jean) Arp werd geboren op 16 september 1886 in Straatsburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 september 2006. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 september 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 september 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 september 2010


Die große Firgelei

wo ist die firgelzentrale

hat ihnen firgel versichert

dass ich eine wolke werden darf


warum bin ich noch keine wolke

firgel hat mir wörtlich

folgendes gesagt:

do gdpst pst pst runglidodi

glbsti i i glbsti

sp nebst trullal


finf damad

ding bif

erlauben sie mir

sie zu unterbrechen

ich spreche leider nicht firgel

die schöne firgelsprache

ist das verweilen das träumen

das sinnen und überspinnen

sind himmlische traumblumenlieder

also unsichtbare wolken

von firgel gefirgelt

innig gefirgelt

das wäre zu freundlich

wenn sie mir so ein lied

übersetzen würden

also kühner neuling

und erquickungsbedürftiger:

knebs zabala

dri di dri mn dri

sp sp tatagu

lautet in unserer staubsprache:

fort fort sind sie

die überzermalmer

es lebe die wolke

und ganz besonders

die wolke der engel

der göttlichen blume

Hans Arp (16 september 1886 – 7 juni 1966)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 16e september ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.