Search, search for them:
In the insomnia of forgotten conduits
In gutters blocked by the muteness of litter.
Not far from the pools incapable of retaining a cloud,
A lost eye
A broken ring
Or a trampled star.
For I’ve seen them:
In the rubble momentarily appearing in the mist.
For I’ve touched them:
In the exile of a defunct brick,
Come to naught from a tower or a cart,
No longer beyond the crumbling chimneys,
Nor the tenacious leaves that stick to shoes.
In all of that.
More in those stray splinters consumed without flame.
In those sunken absences broken furniture endures.
Not far from the names and signs that grow cold on the walls.
Search, search for them:
Beneath the drop of wax that buries the word in the book,
Or the signature on the corner of a letter,
That brings the dust rolling in.
Near the forgotten fragment of a bottle,
The sole of a shoe lost in the snow,
The razor-blade abandoned at the edge of a precipice.
Vertaald door A. S. Kline
Rafael Alberti (16 december 1902 – 27 oktober 1999)
Les deux abeilles
Dans le creux d’un vieux mur, et languissante et frêle,
Se lamentait d’une voix grêle
Une Abeille qui, sans parents,
Au hasard promenait ses pénates errants.
Nulle sécurité : ses rayons presque vides
Offraient ample curée à des fourmis avides.
Une autre Abeille arrive et lui dit : « O ma sœur,
Pourquoi donc vivre ainsi solitaire, isolée ?
Viens : le Printemps s’éveille au fond de la vallée,
Nous ouvrant ses trésors de parfum, de douceur.
Tandis qu’ici, malade, inconsolée,
Tu n’as pas un ami, pas un seul défenseur,
Dans la ruche, là-bas, une chaîne commune
Nous lie étroitement à la même fortune.
Qui cimenta ces nœuds ? L’intérêt, l’amitié.
Dans le bien, dans le mal nous sommes de moitié.
Vivant sans jalousie et sans ambition,
Nous avons su trouver le secret d’être heureuses…
Ce secret, quel est-il ? L’Association. »
Pierre Lachambeaudie (16 december 1807 – 7 juli 1872)
Buste door Ferdinand Taluet in Montignac
Uit: London Perceived
“Before us are ugly places with ancient names where the streets are packed with clownish Cockneys and West Indian immigrants, the traffic heavy. Some of them on the north side between Tilbury and Bethnal Green are slums, dismal, derelict, bombed; some of them so transformed since 1940 by fine building that places with bad names – Ratcliff Highway and Limehouse Causeway and Wapping – are now respectable and even elegant. The old East End has a good deal been replaced by a welfare city since 1946. We pass Poplar, Stepney, Shadwell, Deptford, Woolwich, the Isle of Dogs – where Charles II kept his spaniels – and now mostly dock, with the ships’ bows sticking over the black dock walls and over the streets. We pass Cuckold’s Point, where one of the kings of England gratified a loyal innkeeper by seducing his wife. Until the sixteenth century – according to the delightful Stow, who said he “knew not the fancy for it” – a pair of horns stood on a pole there, a coarse Thames-side warning, perhaps, of the hazards that lie between wind and water.
Londen, Thames en Tower, 2011
The Thames, we realize, was for centuries London’s only East to West road or, at any rate, the safest, quickest, and most convenient way that joined the two cities, one swelling out from the Tower and the other from Westminster. And there is another important matter. It is hard now to believe as we go past these miles of wharves and the low-built areas of dockland where one place now runs into another in a string of bus routes, but this mess was once royal.”
V.S. Pritchett ( 16 december 1900 – 20 maart 1997)
Uit: Country Lodgings
“Between two and three years ago, the following pithy advertisement appeared in several of the London papers:–
“Country Lodgings.–Apartments to let in a large farm-house, situate in a cheap and pleasant village, about forty miles from London. Apply (if by letter post-paid) to A. B., No. 7, Salisbury-street, Strand.”
Little did I think, whilst admiring in the broad page of the Morning Chronicle the compendious brevity of this announcement, that the pleasant village referred to was our own dear Aberleigh; and that the
first tenant of those apartments should be a lady whose family I had long known, and in whose fortunes and destiny I took a more than common interest!
Upton Court was a manor-house of considerable extent, which had in former times been the residence of a distinguished Catholic family, but which, in the changes of property incident to our fluctuating neighbourhood, was now “fallen from its high estate,” and degraded into the homestead of a farm so small, that the tenant, a yeoman of the poorest class, was fain to eke out his rent by entering into an
agreement with a speculating Belford upholsterer, and letting off a part of the fine old mansion in the shape of furnished lodgings.
Nothing could be finer than the situation of Upton, placed on the summit of a steep acclivity, looking over a rich and fertile valley to a range of woody hills; nothing more beautiful than the approach from Belford, the road leading across a common between a double row of noble oaks, the ground on one side sinking with the abruptness of a north-country burn, whilst a clear spring, bursting from the hill side, made its way to the bottom between patches of shaggy underwood and a grove of smaller
trees; a vine-covered cottage just peeping between the foliage, and the picturesque outline of the Court, with its old-fashioned porch, its long windows, and its tall, clustered chimneys towering in the distance. It was the prettiest prospect in all Aberleigh.”
Mary Russell Mitford (16 dcember 1787 – 10 januari 1855)
Mary Russell Mitford’s cottage in Three Mile Cross
Youth is spring!
The soul, full of flowers, shines,
Believes in good, loves life, dreams and waits
And easily forgets misfortune.
It´s the age of strength and beauty:
Looks at the future and still has no past;
And, facing Nature upfront,
Does not fear daring work.
Loves awakening, loathing sleep;
Has projects of glory, loves Chimera;
And still doesn´t give fruit as autumn,
For it only gives flowers as spring!
Vertaald door Doidimais Brasil
Olavo Bilac (16 december 1865 – 28 december 1918)