Adam Mickiewicz, Tevfik Fikret, Dominique Manotti, Matthew Arnold, Stephenie Meyer

De Poolse dichter Adam Mickiewicz werd geboren op 24 december 1798 in Zaosie, nabij Nowogródek. Zie ook alle tags voor Adam Mickiewicz op dit blog.


Chatir Dah

Trembling the Muslim comes to kiss the foot of your crags,
Mast on Crimea’s raft, towering Chatir Dah!
Minaret of the World! Mightiest Padishah Of Mountains!
From the plain Fugitive into the Clouds!

As great Gabriel once stood over portals of Eden,
You at Heaven’s Gate watch, wrapped in your forest cloak,
And, in turban of clouds with lightning flashes bespangled,
On your forehead you wear janissaries of dread.

Hot sun may roast our limbs, mountain mists blind our eyes,
Locusts may eat our grain, infidels burn our homes,
You, Chatir Dah, would still, unmindful of man’s fate,

Rise between earth and sky, Dragoman of Creation;
Far spreads the plain at your feet, home of men and of thunder,
But you can only hear what God to nature speaks.

Vertaald door John Saly


Mount Kikineis

Look, the abyss, the downward sky, the sea!
Bird-mountain, shot with thunder, furls below
feathers and wings, in curve beyond rainbow,
snow-sails and mast, immobile, vast, free;
and cloudlike over spacious limbo, covers
wide azure – oh, island-hemisphere in flight,
darkens a half-world with its own sad night.
Look, on its forehead ribbon flames and hovers!
Lightning! But stop here. At our feet, abysses,
ravines, thresholds we must at gallop span.
I leap; stand ready with whip and spur; stare
past rock escarpment where I vanish. This is
your sign: If white panache gleams, I am there;
if not, there is no path beyond for man.


Vertaald door Clark Mills


Adam Mickiewicz (24 december 1798 – 26 november 1855)

Portret door Józef Oleszkiewicz, 1828


De Turkse dichter Tevfik Fikret werd geboren op 24 december 1867 in Istanbul. Zie ook alle tags voor Tevfik Fikret op dit blog.

Haluk’s Credo

There is a universal power, supreme and limitless

Holy and sublime, with all my heart, so

do I believe

The earth is my homeland, my nation all humankind;

A person becomes human only by knowing this, so

do I believe

We are Satan, and jinn, there’s no devil, no angels

Human beings will turn this world into paradise, so

do I believe

The perfect is immanent in creation; in that perfection

By way of the Torah, of the Gospels, of the Koran

do I believe

The children of humanity are each other’s siblings… a dream?

Then so be it, for in that dream, with all my heart and soul,

do I believe

No one eats human flesh; deep-down, in this solace

-Forgetting my ancient ancestors for a moment-

do I believe

Blood nourishes violence and violence blood; this enmity

Is a flame in the blood that blood never quenches, so

do I believe

Surely this graveyard-existence will be followed

By refulgent resurrection, with utter certainty, so

do I believe

Before the miracle of that great sorcerer, reason,

Superstition will sink frustrated, into the earth, so

do I believe.


Tevfik Fikret (24 december 1867 – 19 augustus 1915)


De Franse schrijfster en historica Dominique Manotti werd geboren op 24 december 1942 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 24 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 24 december 2009.en ook mijn blog van 24 december 2010.

Uit: L’Honorable société (Dominique Manotti et DOA)

Une dernière fois, Benoît Soubise se concentre sur son écran pour relire la conclusion de son mail de synthèse. Il corrige un mot, change deux virgules, raccourcit une phrase, puis l’envoie et quitte Outlook.

La fenêtre de son bureau est ouverte et dehors, les façades de sa rue tranquille du 17ème arrondissement retiennent les derniers traits de lumière du jour finissant. Cette année, avril est particulièrement doux. Il consulte sa montre, vingt heures passées, et se dit qu’il faut y aller, à ce dîner que Barbara a organisé pour lui, même s’il n’en a rien à foutre des amis qu’elle veut lui présenter.

L’écran de veille de son ordinateur se déclenche.

Soubise se lève, passe dans sa chambre, se regarde un instant dans le miroir de son dressing. Il hésite à se changer et renonce, le jeans fera l’affaire, c’est un Armani, et sa chemise blanche présente encore bien. Rapide main dans les cheveux, pour les domestiquer un peu. Il attrape son imper d’été sur le dossier d’un fauteuil, ses clés de voiture, au passage, dans l’entrée, et sort.

L’autoradio est réglé sur France Inter. C’est le journal du soir, consacré pour l’essentiel à la campagne présidentielle. Les derniers sondages avant le premier tour, ce week-end, donnent le candidat de droite, Pierre Guérin, largement en tête à l’issue du scrutin. A les croire, il aura plus de cinq points d’avance sur son challenger le plus sérieux, Eugène Schneider, champion du principal parti d’opposition. Parmi les dix autres prétendants au trône, seule la représentante du centre peut, selon l’analyste de la station, tirer son épingle du jeu, probablement au détriment de Schneider, à qui elle volera le plus de voix.”


Dominique Manotti (Parijs, 24 december 1942)


De Engelse dichter en cultuurcriticus Matthew Arnold werd geboren op 24 december 1822 in Laleham, Middlesex. Zie ook mijn blog van 24 december 2010.

East London

‘Twas August, and the fierce sun overhead

Smote on the squalid streets of Bethnal Green,

And the pale weaver, through his windows seen

In Spitalfields, looked thrice dispirited.

I met a preacher there I knew, and said:

“Ill and o’erworked, how fare you in this scene?” –

“Bravely!” said he; “for I of late have been

Much cheered with thoughts of Christ, the living bread.”

O human soul! as long as thou canst so

Set up a mark of everlasting light,

Above the howling senses’ ebb and flow,

To cheer thee, and to right thee if thou roam –

Not with lost toil thou labourest through the night!

Thou mak’st the heaven thou hop’st indeed thy home.



Foil’d by our fellow-men, depress’d, outworn,

We leave the brutal world to take its way,

And, Patience! in another life, we say

The world shall be thrust down, and we up-borne.

And will not, then, the immortal armies scorn

The world’s poor, routed leavings? or will they,

Who fail’d under the heat of this life’s day,

Support the fervours of the heavenly morn?

No, no! the energy of life may be

Kept on after the grave, but not begun;

And he who flagg’d not in the earthly strife,

From strength to strength advancing–only he,

His soul well-knit, and all his battles won,

Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.


Matthew Arnold (24 december 1822 – 15 april 1888

Portret door George Frederick Watts, 1880


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Stephenie Meyer werd geboren in Connecticut op 24 december 1973. Zie ook mijn blog van 24 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 24 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 24 december 2010.


Uit: The Host

„I’m all alone.

It’s dark. I can’t remember where I am … or why I’m here. It’s wrong that I’m alone. Where is Wanda? I can’t see to look for her. I can’t remember how to call for her. It’s silent. I can’t feel her. I can’t feel our body.

Panic starts to set in as I wait for her voice. For her to say my name. To tell me where we are. To open my eyes so we can see. I need to hear her voice — my voice, in my softest tone, my gentlest inflection.

I wait, but there is nothing. Just me and the dark.

The panic gets worse as I try to remember. Did she shut me out again? That happened once, I know, but I don’t remember it. I don’t think it was like this, panicking in the dark. It was just nothing then.

And I don’t think Wanda would do that. Because we love each other. I remember we said that. Just before …something. I try to dredge up the memory.

We were saying we loved each other.… We were saying …



Stephenie Meyer(Connecticut, 24 december 1973)