Uit: The Orenda
“I awake. A few minutes, maybe, of troubled sleep. My teeth chatter so violently I can taste I’ve bitten my swollen tongue. Spitting red into the snow, I try to rise but my body’s seized. The oldest Huron, their leader, who kept us walking all night around the big lake rather than across it because of some ridiculous dream, stands above me with a thorn club. The weight these men give their dreams will be the end of them.
Although I still know little of their language, I understand the words he whispers and force myself to roll over when the club swings toward me. The thorns bite into my back and the bile of curses that pour from my mouth make the Hurons convulse with laughter. I am sorry, Lord, to use Your name in vain.
They’d all be screaming with glee, pointing and holding their bellies, if we weren’t being hunted. With a low sun rising and the air so cold, noise travels. They are clearly fed up with the young Iroquois girl who never stopped whimpering the entire night. Her face is swollen and, when I see her lying in the snow, I fear they killed her while I slept.
Not long ago, just before first light, we’d all paused to rest, the leader and his handful of hunters stopping as if they’d planned this in advance, the pack of them collapsing against one another for the heat. They whispered among themselves, and a couple glanced over at me. Although I couldn’t decipher their rushed speech, I sensed they talked of leaving me here, probably with the girl, who at that moment sat with her back to a birch, staring as if in a dream.Or maybe they talked of killing us. We had slowed them down all night, and despite trying to walk quietly I’d stumbled in the dark through the thick brush and tripped over fallen trees buried in the snow. At one point I removed my snowshoes because they were so clumsy, but then sank up to my hips in the next steps, and one of the hunters had to pull me out, biting me hard on the face once he’d accomplished the deed.”
Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)
De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en literatuurcriticus Bruce Bawer werd geboren op 31 oktober 1956 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Bruce Bawer op dit blog.
for my sister
Yearly the summer tells its sunny lie.
Remember childhood, when we didn’t know
The lie for what it was? Each year we’d go
Down to the beach, where, under a blue sky
That promised sunshine through eternity,
We’d splash and shout, ignorant eyes aglow.
Each day for us seemed one big bright hello;
In fact we were already saying a long goodbye.
Now that we know better, what to say?
We’ve tossed handfuls of earth into the graves
Of those with whom we first leapt in the waves.
What is there, but to stare back at the day,
Mute in our knowledge that we’re all its slaves,
And stand on the beach, and watch the children play?
Listening to “Moonlight Serenade” on the Big Band Channel
Lovers who, decades ago, first heard this song
As, awestruck, they gazed into each other’s eyes
On a ballroom dance floor, where the marriage
Of words and music first gave them a language
For the power that had swept them up beyond
Everything they knew, or thought they knew,
And staggered them with the sudden recognition
Of what the world could be, what life could be,
And what it could mean to look into the eyes
Of one special person, and of how, in the end,
All of life could come down to the simple fact
Of touching each other, holding each other tight,
And gazing, rapt, into each other’s eyes,
Are crumbling now, or already crumbled, to dust.
Bruce Bawer (New York, 31 oktober 1956)
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! oh, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
Dry your eyes! oh, dry your eyes!
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies,–
Shed no tear.
Overhead! look overhead!
‘Mong the blossoms white and red–
Look up, look up! I flutter now
On this fresh pomegranate bough.
See me! ‘tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man’s ill.
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Adieu, adieu — I fly — adieu!
I vanish in the heaven’s blue,–
Ah! woe is me! poor silver-wing!
That I must chant thy lady’s dirge,
And death to this fair haunt of spring,
Of melody, and streams of flowery verge,–
Poor silver-wing! ah! woe is me!
That I must see
These blossoms snow upon thy lady’s pall!
Go, pretty page! and in her ear
Whisper that the hour is near!
Softly tell her not to fear
Such calm favonian burial!
Go, pretty page! and soothly tell,–
The blossoms hang by a melting spell,
And fall they must, ere a star wink thrice
Upon her closed eyes,
That now in vain are weeping their last tears,
At sweet life leaving, and these arbours green,–
Rich dowry from the Spirit of the Spheres,
Alas! poor Queen!
John Keats (31 oktober 1795 – 23 februari 1821)
Portret door Joseph Severn, 1818
De Engelse schrijver Nick Stone werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Cambridge. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Nick Stone op dit blog.
Uit: The Unarmed Robbery
“The girl behind the counter, who looked much younger than my twenty-four years, just stared at me, a grin slowly spreading across her face. I found her silence a bit unnerving, so I tried another tactic.
“Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. This is called a gun. Though I’ve never fired one before, I assure you I know how. It’s like using the Internet, I hear. You know, just point and click.”
She let out a snort in an attempt to suppress her laughter. “Dude! Are you fer real??”
That annoyed me. “Of course I’m for real! What do youthink?”
“What do Ithink?” she began, her face turning serious. “I think you’re doing well for a beginner. I like the polite approach, though it might make it easier for the cops to identify you. But I can tell you just slapped this job together. How long did it take for you to set this up?”
I hadn’t prepared for an open discussion, so I winged it. “Hell, I don’t know,” I told her honestly, “anhour maybe?”
“An hour!” she yelled in delight, which startled me and almost made me drop the gun. “Oh! No wonder you screwed this up so bad!”
“How the hell did I screw this up? I know I’m new atthis, but do I really have to take this abuse when it’s meholding the gun?”
“You bring this abuse on yourself, because I know fora fact you didn’t come here to shoot anyone.”
“Oh? So not only are you a gas station attendant, you’re a mind reader too? How do you know I don’t plan on shooting you?”
“Because you’re using a revolver, nitwit! And I can see it’s not loaded!”
A pause. I turned the gun around to my face and saw the empty chambers, clearly visible to anyone on this side of the gun. “Ahh. Touché, my dear.” I dropped the gunto my side. “Thanks for the advice,” I said, and turned to walk out. “
Nick Stone (Cambridge, 31 oktober 1966)
De Braziliaanse dichter Carlos Drummond de Andrade werd geboren op 31 oktober 1902 in Itabira, een klein dorpje in de staat Minas Gerais. Zie ook alle tags voor Carlos Drummond de Andrade op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010
Shoulders Support The World
There comes a time when we no longer say: my God.
A time of absolute purity.
A time when we no longer say: my love.
Because love proved useless.
And eyes don’t cry.
And hands only weave in rough work.
And the heart is dry.
Women knock at the door in vain, don’t open it.
You stay alone, the light goes out,
and in the dark your eyes glow enormous.
You’re convinced, you no longer know suffering.
And you expect nothing from friends.
Old age matters little, what is old age?
Your shoulders support the world
and it weighs no more than a child’s hand.
The wars, famines, and talks in buildings
only prove that life goes on
and not all have freed themselves yet.
Some, finding the spectacle barbarous,
prefer (the delicates) to die.
There comes a time when there’s no point in dying.
There comes a time when life is an order.
Merely life, without perplexity.
Vertaald door Len Sousa
Carlos Drummond de Andrade (31 oktober 1902 – 17 augustus 1987)
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 31e oktober ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2011 deel 2.