See how a Seed, which Autumn flung down,
And through the Winter neglected lay,
Uncoils two little green leaves and two brown,
With tiny root taking hold on the clay
As, lifting and strengthening day by day,
It pushes red branchless, sprouts new leaves,
And cell after cell the Power in it weaves
Out of the storehouse of soil and clime,
To fashion a Tree in due course of time;
Tree with rough bark and boughs’ expansion,
Where the Crow can build his mansion,
Or a Man, in some new May,
Lie under whispering leaves and say,
“Are the ills of one’s life so very bad
When a Green Tree makes me deliciously glad?”
As I do now. But where shall I be
When this little Seed is a tall green Tree?
In A Spring Grove
Here the white-ray’d anemone is born,
Wood-sorrel, and the varnish’d buttercup;
And primrose in its purfled green swathed up,
Pallid and sweet round every budding thorn,
Gray ash, and beech with rusty leaves outworn.
Here, too the darting linnet hath her nest
In the blue-lustred holly, never shorn,
Whose partner cheers her little brooding breast,
Piping from some near bough. O simple song!
O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet,
And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng
The vernal world, and unexhausted seas
Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it,
Each and all of these,–and more, and more than these!
William Allingham (19 maart 1824 – 18 november 1889)
Borstbeeld door Albert Toft
Il faisait des courbettes serviles et, mollement,
Voulait du maïs dans ta paume picorer,
Tremblait tout bleu et chaud, de la tête aux pans
Comme on voit dans une tasse l’alcool ondoyer.
Sur une souche, une coiffe portant, ton drôle de singe
Des yeux inégaux, terriblement tristes, roulait.
Ta main démancha, comme on enssore un linge
Et rompit le cou de l’oiseau, qui criait.
Vertaald door Constantin Frosin
Out of an hour glass, inferred,
Out of an hour glass, inferred, the depth of this calm highpoint
Seeped through a mirror inside redeemed azure
Cuts out from groups of water, through drowned celestial herds,
A secondary game, more pure yet.
Latent nadir! The poet raises the sum of
Scattered harps, lost in inverted flights,
And songs subside: secretive, as only seas can be,
Floating off jelly fish beneath green bells.
Ion Barbu (19 maart 1895 – 11 augustus 1961)
Zij zag het wiegje op de stroom,
Gelijk een schuitje drijven;
Dat zag zij in een nare droom,
Het hart vol schroom,
Zij voelt haar bloed verstijven!
Waar of ze ’t nu nog wedervindt,
Haar zo op eens ontnomen?
Een prooi aan ’t water en de wind,
Hoe kan het kind
Aan zulk gevaar ontkomen?
Maar zie, ze ontwaakt en ’t lacht haar aan,
Zij is nog diep bewogen,
En voelt het hart nu dankbaar slaan,
Terwijl een traan
Komt schittren in hare ogen.
De nacht is stil, en kalm en klaar;
Haar bange droom is henen;
Maar is voor ’t rustend kindje daar,
Ook al ’t gevaar,
En alle leed verdwenen?
Ach neen; zij ’t wiegje nog zo zacht,
’t Moet toch langs wilde baren,
Gelijk een scheepje met zijn vracht,
Bij mist en nacht,
De levensstroom bevaren.
Rosalie Loveling (19 maart 1834 – 4 mei 1875)
Pauline (de moeder van Cyriel Buysse), Rosalie en Virginie Loveling, ca. 1850
Uit: The Adventures of Roderick Random
“I was born in the northern part of this united kingdom, in the house of my grandfather, a gentleman of considerable fortune and influence, who had on many occasions signalised himself in behalf of his country; and was remarkable for his abilities in the law, which he exercised with great success in the station of a judge, particularly against beggars, for whom he had a singular aversion.
My father (his youngest son) falling in love with a poor relation, who lived with the old gentleman in quality of a housekeeper, espoused her privately; and I was the first fruit of that marriage. During her pregnancy, a dream discomposed my mother so much that her husband, tired with her importunity, at last consulted a highland seer, whose favourable interpretation he would have secured beforehand by a bribe, but found him incorruptible. She dreamed she was delivered of a tennis-ball, which the devil (who, to her great surprise, acted the part of a midwife) struck so forcibly with a racket that it disappeared in an instant; and she was for some time inconsolable for the lost of her offspring; when, all on a sudden, she beheld it return with equal violence, and enter the earth, beneath her feet, whence immediately sprang up a goodly tree covered with blossoms, the scent of which operated so strongly on her nerves that she awoke. The attentive sage, after some deliberation, assured my parents, that their firstborn would be a great traveller; that he would undergo many dangers and difficulties, and at last return to his native land, where he would flourish in happiness and reputation. How truly this was foretold will appear in the sequel. It was not long before some officious person informed my grandfather of certain familiarities that passed between his son and housekeeper which alarmed him so much that, a few days after, he told my father it was high time for him to think of settling; and that he had provided a match for him, to which he could in justice have no objections.“
Tobias Smollett (19 maart 1721 – 17 september 1771)
Portret door Nathaniel Dance-Holland, rond 1764
Uit: The Fan Club
“Her green eyes still betrayed nothing of her inner feelings, revealed only gracious interest, as they scanned the dramatis personae readying to exit from the stage. Her gaze froze each in a frame for an instant, while her mind added a caption, then photographed and categorized the next.
Hank Lenhardt, the most successful publicist in town, with his boring and stupid anecdotes and endless pitch and slick gossip. Justin Rhodes, the producer of her current film, a gentleman from the legitimate theatre, but another phony on the make, not for her (he was surely a fag or a neuter) but on the make for her dependence upon him and for her name to use as another steppingstone on his non-stop power trip. Tina Alpert, the widely syndicated movie columnist, a smiler with a knife, a twenty four hour bitch you never turned your back on or ignored or ever forgot to woo with expensive birthday or Christmas presents.
Sy Yaeger, the hot new filmmaker, euphemism for director, who rewrote writers on the set and had the arrogance to make a cult of the kitsch peddlers of the past like Busby Berkeley, Preston Sturges, Raoul Walsh. Sky Hubbard, the radio and television network news commentator, a dumb lip reader and foghorn, a face out of a shirt ad, whom that idiot Lenhardt had insisted that she invite as an investment in goodwill. Nadine Robertson, whose only claim to fame was that she had once played opposite Charles Chaplin (no small thing) and who was now a silicone smooth old socialite and giver of charity balls, a grand dame who whined clichés and somehow had escaped interment in the Movie land Wax Museum.”
Irving Wallace (19 maart 1916 – 29 juni 1990)
Uit: Mine Boy
„But as fast as they moved the sand so fast did the pile grow. A truck load would go and another would come from the bowels of the earth. And another would go and another would come. So it went on all day long. On and on and on and on.
But the sand remained the same. A truck would come from the heart of the earth. A truck would go up to build the mine-dump. Another would come. Another would go. . – All day long…
And for all their sweating and hard breathing and for the redness of their eyes and the emptiness of their stare there would be nothing to show. In the morning the pile had been so big. Now it was the same.
And the mine-dump did not seem to grow either.
It was this that frightened Xuma. This seeing of nothing for a man’s work.’ This mocking of a man by the sand that was always wet and warm; by the mine-dump that would not grow; by the hard eyes of the white man who told them to hurry up.
It made him feel desperate and anxious. He worked feverishly.
Straining his strength behind the loaded truck and running behind the empty truck and looking carefully to see if the dump had grown any bigger, and watching the sand from the earth to see if it had grown less. But it was the same. The same all the time. No change.
Only the startling and terrifying noises around. And the whistles blowing. And the hissing and the explosions from the bowels of the earth. And these things beat against his brain till his eyes reddened like the eyes of the other men.”
Peter Abrahams (Vrededorp, 19 maart 1919)