Zhu Yin Ta
Precious hairpin, broken, halved
At the Peach-Leaf Ferry where
We parted; darkening mist and willow shround the place.
I dread to climb the tower-top stair;
Nine days out of ten wind raves, rain torrents race:
It breaks my heart to see the scarlet petals scatter one by one.
All this with nobody to care
Above it – who is there
Will bid the oriole’s singing cease?
From mirrored flowers that frame my face
I pluck the petals, try to foretell your return,
Counting and re-counting them a thousand ways.
By silken curtains dimly lit
Words born of dreams fight in my throat for release.
It was he, the Spring, who brought on me this agony of grief;
Who knows where Spring now strays?
He did not guess he should have gone
Taking my grief in his embrace.
Xin Qiji (28 mei 1140 – 1207)
Standbeeld in Changsha, Hunan, China
Gandhi And Poetry
One day a lean poem
reached Gandhi’s ashram
to have a glimpse of the man.
Gandhi spinning away
his thread towards Ram
took no notice of the poem
waiting at his door,
ashamed at not being a bhajan.
The poem now cleared his throat
And Gandhi glanced at him sideways
through those glasses that had seen hell.
“Have you ever spun thread?” he asked,
“Ever pulled a scavenger’s cart?
Ever stood in the smoke of
An early morning kitchen?
Have you ever starved?”
The poem said: “I was born in the woods,
in a hunter’s mouth.
A fisherman brought me up
in a cottage.
Yet I knew no work, I only sing.
First I sang in the courts:
then I was plump and handsome
but am on the streets now,
“That’s better,” Gandhi said
with a sly smile. “But you must give up this habit
of speaking in Sanskrit at times.
Go to the fields. Listen to
The peasants’ speech.”
The poem turned into a grain
and lay waiting in the fields
for the tiller to come
and upturn the virgin soil
moist with new rain.
K. Satchidanandan (Kerala, 28 mei 1946)
Uit: The Hanging Garden
“Mamma had been taken into the saloni. She was sitting talking to the Englishwoman.
“You’ll find her a quiet, reasonable child.”
It made the reasonable child feel grave, important, while remaining unconvinced.
She was standing in a smaller room which opened off the important one where callers are received. It was a house of many rooms, whether their purpose was reasonable or not she hadn’t had time to find out, but sensed that she might approve of the house, dark and quiet, standing on the edge of this precipice.
She looked down through the closed window, through the leaves of dark yet glossy trees growing out of a wall of rock above the shining water of a small, private-seeming bay. More than anything the water consoled, its light that of the Gulf. She half-expected that if the curtain were to lift she would catch sight of the volcano on the island opposite. But the leaves were unmoved. She was reminded of the trees in the Royal Garden. As she ran past the benches with their officers and girls she heard her feet crunch on the gravel, running through the cool towards the muddy smell of ducks.
“I’m sure she won’t give you any trouble,” (Mamma was saying in the saloni).
“Oh dear, no, I can see, Mrs.—er—Sklavos” carefully, “I can see she is quite the grown-up little lady.” Suddenly Mamma burst into tears, through her crying the sound of furniture a rusty stirring and another sort of motion which must have been this Englishwoman’s, she had the figure of a dressmaker’s dummy.
“It must be a comfort to know she will be on British soil.”
Mamma could have been mopping her tears. “But we are not British, Mrs. Bulpit. Eirene is a Greek.” How strange it was to hear Mamma’s voice, as though feeling its way into a foreign language. “My husband was a Greek—a Greek patriot. And I was Australian before I married. I do not think of myself as British.”
Patrick White (28 mei 1912 – 30 september 1990)
Uit: The Swiss Family Robinson
“We immediately searched about for what would answer the purpose, and fortunately got hold of a number of empty flasks and tin canisters, which we connected two and two together so as to form floats sufficiently buoyant to support a person in the water, and my wife and young sons each willingly put one on. I then provided myself with matches, knives, cord, and other portable articles, trusting that, should the vessel go to pieces before daylight, we might gain the shore not wholly destitute.
Fritz, as well as his brothers, now slept soundly. Throughout the night my wife and I maintained our prayerful watch, dreading at every fresh sound some fatal change in the position of the wreck.
At length the faint dawn of day appeared, the long, weary night was over, and with thankful hearts we perceived that the gale had begun to moderate; blue sky was seen above us, and the lovely hues of sunrise adorned the eastern horizon.
I aroused the boys, and we assembled on the remaining portion of the deck, when they, to their surprise, discovered that no one else was on board.
“Hullo, papa! What has become of everybody? Are the sailors gone? Have they taken away the boats? Oh, papa! Why did they leave us behind? What can we do by ourselves?”
“My good children,” I replied, “we must not despair, although we seem deserted. See how those on whose skill and good faith we depended have left us cruelly to our fate in the hour of danger. God will never do so. He has not forsaken us, and we will trust Him still. Only let us bestir ourselves, and each cheerily do his best. Who has anything to propose?”
Johann David Wyss (28 mei 1743 – 11 januari 1818)
Scene uit de gelijknamige film uit 1960 met o.a. John Mills en Dorothy McGuire
Leihe mir, Wiese
Leihe mir, Wiese
dein blühend Gewand,
dann kann ich als Königin schreiten.
Esparsetbe um meinen Hals.
wird rosafarbne: Geschmeid.
Salbei umhülle wie Samt meine Schultern,
mit goldenen Sternen: mein Gürtel schließt
den blumenbesticltten Mantel.
Leibe mir, brandroter Mohn,
daß ich die Wangen mir schminlte,
leihe mir, Sonne,
Gold und Glanz für mein Haar,
daß ich, glühende Braut,
dern Geliebten entgegenschreihe.
Maria Müller-Gögler (28 mei 1900 – 23 september 1987
Weingarten in Oberschwaben, waar Maria Müller-Gögler lang woonde(Geen portret beschikbaar)
All the sky was dull and drear,
But what cared I!
For my sky shone bright and clear
In Eliza’s eye.
Not a star was to be seen,
Yet I felt no fear;
For like stars of brightest sheen
Shone those eyes so dear.
All the way was rough and dark;
Unheeding wind, or weather,
O’er the roughest path we trudge,
Then the sky again was fair,
But what cared I!
For I saw no longer there
My Eliza’s eye.
Friendly shone the stars above,
But joyless was their light;
For in them I could not see
Her sweet eyes so bright.
Would the sky were dark once more!
And no star appear!
But give the wanderer back again
His companion dear.
Bernhard Severin Ingemann (28 mei 1789 – 24 februari 1862)
Jonge vrouwen bieden B. S. Ingemann een Gouden Hoorn aan op zijn 70e verjaardag. Geschilderd door Jørgen Valentin Sonne, 1859
Uit: Der Postzug oder die noblen Passionen
„DER VERWALTER. Ha nun begreif’ ich! Denken Sie nur, Lisette! nebst den hochfreyherrlichen Pferden, mußt’ ich alle unsre Mayerpferde, meine zween Braunen, und des Pfarrers Rappen in den herrschaftlichen Stall einstellen. Zum Glück ist nicht mehr Platz, sonst kämen wohl des Schulzens Hengste auch dazu.
LISETTE. O warum nicht auch des Majors von Rheinberg vier Schäcken? Die wären doch gewiß die schönsten von allen. Das nenn’ ich Eitelkeit!
DER VERWALTER. Wenn Sie erst wüßten, wie heute der Stall aussieht!
DER VERWALTER. Seit Anbruch des Tages sind zwölf Frohnleute mit Putzen, Fegen und Polieren beschäftiget. Der Fußboden wurde mit weißem Sand ausgerieben, und dick mit Sägespähnen bestreut.
LISETTE. Nur? und nicht mit Rosenblättern? Ha! ha! ha!
DER VERWALTER. Sie kennen ja die alten Familienportraits von den geharnischten Rittern, die alle das hochfreyherrliche Wappen neben der Schulter, oder zwischen den Füßen, und allmächtig große Perücken auf den Köpfen haben?
LISETTE. Soll ich sie nicht kennen? sie hängen in des Barons Gewehrkammer.
DER VERWALTER. Nicht mehr. Sie hängen alle im Stalle.
LISETTE. Im Stalle? die Ritter in großen Perücken? Das ist ja eine Schmach für die Familie.
DER VERWALTER. Für die Familie eben nicht – ob diese Helden im Stalle, oder in der Gewehrkammer hängen. Nur dem feinen Geschmack unserer Frau, dessen sie sich so oft rühmet, dürfte diese Veränderung keine Ehre bringen.“
Cornelius Hermann von Ayrenhoff (28 mei 1733 – 15 augustus 1819)
“Der Postzug“, radering door Georg Melchior Kraus. 18e eeuw