Uit: Fathers and Sons
„Fenichka (laughing) He did not. That’s another of your stories.
Dunyasha Cross my heart, (into pram) Hello, Mitya. How are you today, my little darling? Are you well? (She spreads out under the sun.) Beautiful. This most be the hottest May ever. (eyes closed) Is that the big fiddle he’s playing?
Fenichka You (mow very well it’s called a cello.
Dunyasha Sort of nice, isn’t it? Bit lonely – like himself.
Fenichka Is he lonely?
Dunyasha You should know. Not much good for dancing.
Fenichka I heard you were dancing last night.
Dunyasha Five this morning. Oh, that heat’s lovely.
Fenichka Any good?
Dunyasha You mean did I click? (She sits up.) Tell me this, Fenichka: remember all those young fellows used to be at the dances when you and I went together – all that laughing and all that fun – remember?
Dunyasha Well, where in God’s name have they gone to, those boys? Or haven’t they young brothers? All you see now are half-drunk louts that say things like, ‘My God, girl, but you’re a powerful armful of meat.’
Fenichka laughs. It’s true. That’s what a big clodhopper said to me last night. And if it’s not the clodhoppers it’s the usual old lechers with their eyes half-closed and their hands groping your burn.
She sees Pavel entering left with a book under his arm. She gets quickly to her feet. Pavel is the typical ‘Europeanized’ Russian of the nineteenth century – wears English clothes, speaks French. His manner is jaded but his emotions function fully and astutely.
Jesus, here comes the Tailor’s Dummy! He must have spotted you.”
Brian Friel (Omagh, 9 januari 1929)
Scene uit een opvoering in Londen, 2014
Uit: Toomas Nipernaadi (Vertaald door P. J. A. Boot.)
“Let’s put it like this: I have come here tonight just to say a few nice words to you, and listen to your soft breathing. This is a thought that might come to any decent man, and surely there is no harm in it. Alas, the innkeeper himself, old Küüp, is sleeping here too somewhere, he might wake up and hear a strange man talking. He could well think it’s a thief or someone seducing Anne-Mari, and he could take a heavy stick and beat me to death with it. Later he could then publish a little article in the paper about killing a notorious murderer after a fierce shooting. This may indeed happen if you run out of luck. If luck stays with me, however, thing will proceed quite differently. Like this, for example: I sit here, having a nice friendly conversation, suspecting nothing. Suddenly I hear a weak rustling sound, the door opens, a nasty man enters and heads directly towards Anne-Mari. I recognise Küüp himself. Since I love Anne-Mari who is the dearest person to me in the whole world, I immediately attack Küüp, wring his neck, and a few days later the state awards me a medal. If only luck were on my side.
Oh, Anne-Mari, all this is just said in passing, an introduction to a really beautiful story! I am quite impossible today, my head is like a broken sieve, not keeping a single thought.
Perhaps the true story will not begin till I have built a large house for you, and when you run to greet me, smiling all over, arms stretched out. Then I take you in my arms and tell you the real story. It is really not easy to talk to you when you’re so far, I don’t even know where exactly and how you sleep now. I feel as if I’m talking to the walls, indeed I do.”
August Gailit (9 januari 1891 – 5 november 1960)
Toomas Nipernaadi – August Gailit monument in het Säde park, Valga
Summer Is Dying
Summer is dying in the purple and gold and russet
of the falling leaves of the wood,
and the sunset clouds are dying
in their own blood.
In the emptying public gardens
the last strollers break their walk
to lift their eyes and follow
the flight of the last stork.
The heart is orphaned. Soon
the cold rains will be drumming.
‘Have you patched your coat for winter!
Stocked potatoes against its coming?’
A Long Bough
A bough sank down on a fence, and fell asleep –
so shall I sleep.
The fruit has fallen; and what do I care
for my root and stock?
The fruit has fallen, the flower is long forgotten,
only leaves remain.
One day a storm will rage and they will fall,
casualties, to earth.
Afterwards, terrible nights.
No respite, no sleep.
I wrestle alone in darkness, batter
my head on the wall.
Spring will blossom again. Only I
hang on to my stem –
bald shoot with no bud and no flower
no fruit and no leaf.
Chaim Nachman Bialik (9 januari 1873 – 4 juli 1934)
“I thought. I thought of the slow yellow autumn in the swamp and the high honey sun of spring and the eternal silence of the marshes, and the shivering light on them, and the whisper of the spartina and sweet grass in the wind and the little liquid splashes of who-knew-what secret creatures entering that strange old place of blood-warm half earth, half water. I thought of the song of all the birds that I knew, and the soft singsong of the coffee-skinned women who sold their coiled sweet-grass baskets in the market and on Meeting Street. I thought of the glittering sun on the morning harbor and the spicy, somehow oriental smells from the dark old shops, and the rioting flowers everywhere, heavy tropical and exotic. I thought of the clop of horses’ feet on cobblestones and the soft, sulking, wallowing surf of Sullivan’s Island in August, and the countless small vistas of grace and charm wherever the eye fell; a garden door, a peeling old wall, an entire symmetrical world caught in a windowpane. Charlestone simply could not manage to offend the eye. I thought of the candy colors of the old houses in the sunset, and the dark secret churchyards with their tumbled stones, and the puresweet bells of Saint Michael’s in the Sunday morning stillness. I thought of my tottering piles of books in the study at Belleau and the nights before the fire when my father told me of stars and butterflies and voyages, and the silver music of mathematics. I thought of hot, milky sweet coffee in the mornings, and the old kitchen around me, and Aurelia’s gold smile and quick hands and eyes rich with love for me.”
Anne Rivers Siddons (Atlanta, 9 januari 1936)
Uit:Life of Christ (Vertaald door Dorothy Canfield Fisher)
“Foe five hundred years those who call themselves free spirits bemuse they prefer prison life to army service have been try-ing desperately to kill Jesus a second time—to kill Him in the hearts of men. The army of His enemies assembled to bury Him as soon as they thought they heard the death-ratde of Christ’s second death. Presumptuous donkeys mistaking libraries for their stables, top-heavy brains pretending to explore the highest heavens in philosophy’s drifting balloon, professors poisoned by the fatal strong drink of philology and metaphysics, armed themselves. Paraphrasing the rallying-cry of Peter the Her-mit to the crusaders, they shouted “Man wills itl” as they set out on their crusade against the Cross. Certain of them drew on their boundless imaginations to evolve what they considered proof positive of a fantastic theory that the story of the Gospel is no more than a legend from which we can reconstruct the natural life of Jesus as a man, one-third prophet, one-third necromancer, one-third demagogue, a man who wrought no miracles except the hypnotic cure of some obsessed devotees, who did not die on the cross, but came to Himself in the chill of the sepulcher and reappeared with mysterious airs to de-lude men into believing bat He bad risen from the dead. . . .”
Giovanni Papini (9 januari 1881 – 8 juli 1956)
The Stream’s Song
Make way, make way,
You thwarting stones;
Room for my play,
Do you not fear,
O rocks and boulders,
To feel my laughter
On your broad shoulders?
So you not know
My joy at length
Will all wear out
Your solemn strength?
You will not for ever
Cumber my play:
With joy and son
I clear my way.
Your faith of rock
Shall yield to me,
And be carried away
By the song of my glee.
No faith can last
That never sings.
For the last hour
To joy belongs:
The steadfast perish,
But not the songs.
Yet for a while
Thwart me, O boulders;
I need for laugher
Your serious shoulders.
And when my singing
Has razed your quite,
I shall have lost
Half my delight.
Lascelles Abercrombie (9 januari 1881 – 27 oktober 1938)
Bien trop de sang bien trop de mains
Pour posséder bonne mémoire
Trop de printemps qui prennent faim
Je suis un homme sans Histoire
À qui suffisent les fontaines
Les enfants bleus les perce-neige
Pas de passé et pas d’espoir
Je suis un homme sans Manières
Qui broute sa propre lumière
Comme les astres dans le noir.
Je passe ma vie à t’unifier
Je dis “la rivière” comme on dit “Le Printemps de Botticelli”.
Rivière : un violon, un archet
Et la Beauté s’enquiert de moi
Sans cesse elle doute si je suis
Me cherche-t-elle ? Des voix tombent de ses mains :
Pierre Garnier (9 januari 1928 – 1 februari 2014)
Ode To Sleep
On this my pensive pillow, gentle Sleep!
Descend, in all thy downy plumage drest:
Wipe with thy wing these eyes that wake to weep,
And place thy crown of poppies on my breast.
O steep my senses in oblivion’s balm,
And sooth my throbbing pulse with lenient hand;
This tempest of my boiling blood becalm!
Despair grows mild at thy supreme command.
Yet ah! in vain, familiar with the gloom,
And sadly toiling through the tedious night,
I seek sweet slumber, while that virgin bloom,
For ever hovering, haunts my wretched sight.
Nor would the dawning day my sorrows charm:
Black midnight and the blaze of noon alike
To me appear, while with uplifted arm
Death stands prepar’d, but still delays, to strike.
Thomas Warton (9 januari 1728 – 21 mei 1790)
Portret door Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1784