Job Degenaar, James L. Dickey, Max Dauthendey, Evelyn Scott

Wegens omstandigheden, zoals dat heet, even iets anders:


Vaders nipte terugkeer

Moment waarop hij z’n ogen
opslaat en ziet ‘het is
er nog, ik ben er nog’

en weer wegvalt als
een zwakke zender

De machinerie van toe- en
afvoerslangen ruist, zoemt,
flitst codes van onmacht

maar stuurt hem in
z’n zachte landing bij

Buiten de kliniek hangt
behaagziek voorjaar

Job Degenaar (Dubbeldam, 1 november 1952)


The Hospital Window

I have just come down from my father.

Higher and higher he lies

Above me in a blue light

Shed by a tinted window.

I drop through six white floors

And then step out onto pavement.

Still feeling my father ascend,

I start to cross the firm street,

My shoulder blades shining with all

The glass the huge building can raise.

Now I must turn round and face it,

And know his one pane from the others.

Each window possesses the sun

As though it burned there on a wick.

I wave, like a man catching fire.

All the deep-dyed windowpanes flash,

And, behind them, all the white rooms

They turn to the color of Heaven.

Ceremoniously, gravely, and weakly,

Dozens of pale hands are waving

Back, from inside their flames.

Yet one pure pane among these

Is the bright, erased blankness of nothing.

I know that my father is there,

In the shape of his death still living.

The traffic increases around me

Like a madness called down on my head.

The horns blast at me like shotguns,

And drivers lean out, driven crazy—

But now my propped-up father

Lifts his arm out of stillness at last.

The light from the window strikes me

And I turn as blue as a soul,

As the moment when I was born.

I am not afraid for my father—

Look! He is grinning; he is not

Afraid for my life, either,

As the wild engines stand at my knees

Shredding their gears and roaring,

And I hold each car in its place

For miles, inciting its horn

To blow down the walls of the world

That the dying may float without fear

In the bold blue gaze of my father.

Slowly I move to the sidewalk

With my pin-tingling hand half dead

At the end of my bloodless arm.

I carry it off in amazement,

High, still higher, still waving,

My recognized face fully mortal,

Yet not; not at all, in the pale,

Drained, otherworldly, stricken,

Created hue of stained glass.

I have just come down from my father.


James L.Dickey
(2 februari 1923 – 19 januari 1997)


Ich dulde stumm

Die Welt um mich ist ein Krankenzimmer
Mit geschlossenen Läden im Zwielichtschimmer.
Ich möchte nur leise Schritte machen,
Meine Augen schmerzen vor nächtlichem Wachen.
Meine Brust ist von Sorgen eng umbunden,
Inwendig bluten mir stechende Wunden.
Ich kann noch kein Ende der Krankheit sehen.
Werd ich je froh auf den Füßen stehen?
Das Fieber des Krieges, Heimweh und Sehnen, –
Ich dulde stumm mit verbissenen Zähnen.


Max Dauthendey (25 juli 1867 – 29 augustus 1918)


Hospital Night

I am Will-o’-the-Wisp.

I float in a little pool of delirium,

Phosphorescent velvet.

My fire is like a breath

That blows my illness in circles,

Widening it so far

That I cannot see the edge.

It is one with the night sky.

My fire has blown this vastness,

But I strain and flicker trying to escape from it.

I want to exist without the darkness

That makes my breath so bright.

I want the morning to thin my light.


Evelyn Scott (17 januari 1893 – 3 augustus 1963)


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 29e december ook mijn blog van 29 december 2010.