Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, Zadie Smith, Nawal el Saadawi, Albrecht Rodenbach, Jamie McKendrick, Fran Lebowitz, Reza Allamehzadeh

 De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sylvia Plath werd geboren op 27 oktober 1932 in Jamaica Plain, een buitenwijk van Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Sylvia Plath op dit blog.

All Appearance

The smile of iceboxes annihilates me.
Such blue currents in the veins of my loved one!
I hear her great heart purr.

From her lips ampersands and percent signs
Exit like kisses.
It is Monday in her mind: morals

Launder and present themselves.
What am I to make of these contradictions?
I wear white cuffs, I bow.

Is this love then, this red material
Issuing from the steele needle that flies so blindingly?
It will make little dresses and coats,

It will cover a dynasty.
How her body opens and shuts-
A Swiss watch, jeweled in the hinges!

O heart, such disorganization!
The stars are flashing like terrible numerals.
ABC, her eyelids say.



The groundhog on the mountain did not run
But fatly scuttled into the splayed fern
And faced me, back to a ledge of dirt, to rattle
Her sallow rodent teeth like castanets
Against my leaning down, would not exchange
For that wary clatter sound or gesture
Of love : claws braced, at bay, my currency not hers.

Such meetings never occur in marchen
Where love-met groundhogs love one in return,
Where straight talk is the rule, whether warm or hostile,
Which no gruff animal misinterprets.
From what grace am I fallen. Tongues are strange,
Signs say nothing. The falcon who spoke clear
To Canacee cries gibberish to coarsened ears.


Dirge for a Joker

Always in the middle of a kiss
Came the profane stimulus to cough;
Always from the pulpit during service
Leaned the devil prompting you to laugh.

Behind mock-ceremony of your grief
Lurked the burlesque instinct of the ham;
You never altered your amused belief
That life was a mere monumental sham.

From the comic accident of birth
To the final grotesque joke of death
Your malady of sacrilegious mirth
Spread gay contagion with each clever breath.

Now you must play the straight man for a term
And tolerate the humor of the worm.

Sylvia Plath (27 oktober 1932 – 11 februari 1963)
Hier met dichter en echtgenoot Ted Hughes


De Engelse dichter Dylan Thomas werd geboren op 27 oktober 1914 in Swansea in Wales. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Dylan Thomas op dit blog.

Why East Wind Chills

Why east wind chills and south wind cools
Shall not be known till windwell dries
And west’s no longer drowned
In winds that bring the fruit and rind
Of many a hundred falls;
Why silk is soft and the stone wounds
The child shall question all his days,
Why night-time rain and the breast’s blood
Both quench his thirst he’ll have a black reply.

When cometh Jack Frost? the children ask.
Shall they clasp a comet in their fists?
Not till, from high and low, their dust
Sprinkles in children’s eyes a long-last sleep
And dusk is crowded with the children’s ghosts,
Shall a white answer echo from the rooftops.

All things are known: the stars’ advice
Calls some content to travel with the winds,
Though what the stars ask as they round
Time upon time the towers of the skies
Is heard but little till the stars go out.
I hear content, and ‘Be Content’
Ring like a handbell through the corridors,
And ‘Know no answer,’ and I know
No answer to the children’s cry
Of echo’s answer and the man of frost
And ghostly comets over the raised fists.


To Others Than You

Friend by enemy I call you out.
You with a bad coin in your socket,
You my friend there with a winning air
Who palmed the lie on me when you looked
Brassily at my shyest secret,
Enticed with twinkling bits of the eye
Till the sweet tooth of my love bit dry,
Rasped at last, and I stumbled and sucked,
Whom now I conjure to stand as thief
In the memory worked by mirrors,
With unforgettably smiling act,
Quickness of hand in the velvet glove
And my whole heart under your hammer,
Were once such a creature, so gay and frank
A desireless familiar
I never thought to utter or think
While you displaced a truth in the air,

That though I loved them for their faults
As much as for their good,
My friends were enemies on stilts
With their heads in a cunning cloud.


Vision And Prayer

Are you
Who is born
In the next room
So loud to my own
That I can hear the womb
Opening and the dark run
Over the ghost and the dropped son
Behind the wall thin as a wren’s bone?
In the birth bloody room unknown
To the burn and turn of time
And the heart print of man
Bows no baptism
But dark alone
Blessing on
The wild

Dylan Thomas (27 oktober 1914 – 9 november 1953)
Portret door Peter Ross, z.j.


De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Zadie Smith op dit blog en eveneens mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010

Uit: NW

“The cap, the hooded top, the low jeans, it’s a uniform — they look the same. From where Leah stands anyway it is still all dumb show, hand gestures and primal frowns, and of course some awful potential news story that explains everything except the misery and the particulars: one youth knifed another youth, on Kilburn High Road. They had names and ages and it’s terribly sad, an indictment of something or another and also not good for house prices. Leah cannot breathe for fear. She is running to catch up, Olive clattering along beside her, and while she runs she finds herself noticing something that should not matter: she looks older than both of them. The boy is a boy and Michel is a man but they look the same age.
— I don’t know what you’re chattin about bruv but you BEST NOT STEP TO ME.
— Michel — please. Leave it, please.
— Tell your mans to step back off me.
— Don’t call my house again, OK? Leave my wife alone! You understand me?
— What the fuck are you chattin’ about? You want some?
They bump chests like primates; Michel is knocked back in an ignoble stumble to the pavement, landing next to his ridiculous dog, who licks him in his ear. Now his opponent towers over him and draws his foot back, preparing for a penalty kick. Leah inserts herself between the two of them, stretching out her hands to separate them, an imploring woman in an ancient story.
— Michel! Stop it! It’s not him. Please — this is my husband, he’s confused, please don’t hurt him, please leave us alone, please.
The foot, indifferent, draws further back, for greater range. Leah begins to cry. In the corner of her eye she observes a young white couple in suits crossing the road to avoid them. No one will help. She puts her hands together in prayer.
— Please leave him alone, please. I’m pregnant — please leave us alone.
The foot retreats. A hand looms over Michel as he struggles to his feet, a hand in the shape of a gun, pointed at his head.
— Step to me again — brrp brrp! — you’ll be gone.”

Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)


De Egyptische schrijfster, gynaecologe, moslimfeministe en politiek activiste Nawal el Saadawi werd geboren in Kafr Tahla op 27 oktober 1931. Zie ook alle tags voor Nawal el Saadawi op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010

Uit: Memoirs of a Woman Doctor (Vertaald door Fedwa Malti-Douglas)

“Why did my mother place these enormous differences between me and my brother and make of man a deity for whom I had to spend all my life cooking food?
Why is society always trying to persuade me that masculinity is a distinction and an honor and femininity a disgrace and weakness?
Is it possible for my mother to believe that I am standing with a naked man in front of me and with a scalpel in my hand with which I will open his stomach and his head?
Is it possible for society to believe that I am contemplating a man’s body and dissecting it and cutting it up without feeling that it is a man?
And who is society? Is it not men like my brother whose mother raised him since his childhood as a god? Is it not women like my mother who are weak and useless?
How is it possible for these people to believe that there is a woman who knows nothing about man except that he is muscles, arteries, nerves, and bones?”

Man’s body! That dreadful thing with which mothers frighten their young daughters, so they are consumed by the fire of the kitchen for the sake of his satiation and they dream of his spectral figure night and day! There he is, man, thrown in front of me, naked, ugly, torn to pieces…
I did not imagine that life would disprove my mother to me so quickly…Or would avenge me of man in this way…That dejected man who looked at my breasts one day and saw nothing of my body but them…
There I am returning his arrow back to his chest…
There I am looking at his naked body and feeling nauseated…
There I am bending over with my scalpel and tearing him to pieces…
Is this man’s body?

Nawal el Saadawi (Kafr Tahla, 27 oktober 1931)


De Belgische dichter en schrijver Albrecht Rodenbach werd geboren te Roeselare op 27 oktober 1856. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Albrecht Rodenbach op dit blog.

Op het slagveld

Door de kruitwolk en des slagvelds gruwelen,
zoekend stapt de Non waar hulp en troost biên.
Bloedig stort alom de krijgsman neder.

Lijk een engel komt zij toegevlogen,
knielt, verzorgt hem, biddend of met zoete
woorden hem vertroostend, helpt hem sterven…

Ginter verre donderen de kanonnen,
spuigend. – Stervend stort de maged neder. –
Ruiters stormen henen, lijken trappelend. –

Meer dan ene name zal men roemen,
meer dan ene held na ’t bloedig kampen;
U niet, Vrouwe, groter dan de krijgsheld!

Och, ’t is waar, wie kent uw name, Nonne,
en of gij eens arme werkmans kind waart
of der ridders die ter kruisvaart togen?


Duitsch beleg

De nacht ligt over veld en steê,
ter wallen waken wachten,
doch zien die stille werkers niet
die wrostelen in die grachten.

De zonne schingt op veld en steê,
ter wallen waken wachten:
des vijands kamp ligt stil. Wat wroet
die manschap in die grachten?

De nacht ligt over veld en steê,
ter wallen waken wachten…
Alarm! het weêrlicht over ’t veld,
het dondert uit die grachten.

En brandend spuwen ze op de steê
die bofte met haar machten.
Zij stort, bezwijkt. — Dat is het werk
dier manschap in die grachten.

Albrecht Rodenbach (27 oktober 1856 – 23 juni 1880)
Standbeeld in Hingene


De Engelse dichter en vertaler Jamie McKendrick werd op 27 oktober 1955 in Liverpool geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Jamie McKendrick op dit blog.

Under the Volcano

Between the Devil’s Viaduct and the deep blue sea,
any darkened patch or nook will do,
they gather for the rites of youth
a soluble nectar that arrives
from nowhere, like a boat in the port.

Incendi dolosi. A bronze light worries
the night sky where the hillside
consumes itself. Those
wanting compensation tie
a burning brand to a trapped bird’s foot

so where the bird alights in terror
flames spread. No one’s
the wiser as when the camorra
firebomb a discotheque or bar.
You sense the sulphur under the earth’s crust

The cortege follows the boy
they found in the Park of Springtime,
his forearm dandling a syringe.
Between the Viaduct and the seafront
you crush the brittle flowers underfoot.

Incendi dolosi: arson


The Earth’ s Rind
after Eugenio Montale

The Earth’s rind is finer, more close-grained
than an apple’s skin – if we assume
the material world is not
just an illusion. Nonetheless
we’re stuck in this nothing, if such
we admit it is, up to our necks.
The pessimists say that what sticks
us here is everything we’ve made
to replace the gods. But the old God’s
still faithful followers assert
this substitution didn’t take.
Perhaps He’ll come, they say, in person
to prize us from the magma limb
by limb. So we live and are
a double life, even if the self-
adoring would choose only one.
0 mother Earth, 0 Heaven
of celestial beings – it’s this
that’s the problem,
that makes us mad and shriller than
a bird in lime.

Jamie McKendrick (Liverpool, 27 oktober 1955)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz werd geboren op 27 oktober 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. Zie ook alle tags voor Frans Lebowitz op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010

Uit:Metropolitan Life

“I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use. Pleasant because one is in the best possible company and safe because sleep is the consummate protection against the unseemliness that is the invariable consequence of being awake. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. Sleep is death without the responsibility.”

“Presently it appears that people are mainly concerned with being well rested. Those capable of uninterrupted sleep are much admired. Unconsciousness is in great demand. This is the day of the milligram.

The rigors of learning how to do long division have been a traditional part of childhood, just like learning to smoke. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the two go hand in hand. Any child who cannot do long division by himself does not deserve to smoke. ”

‘If you are of the opinion that the contemplation of suicide is sufficient evidence of a poetic nature, do not forget that actions speak louder than words.”

”There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.”

Fran Lebowitz (Morristown, 27 oktober 1950)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27 oktober ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2013 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2. 

Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

De Iraanse schrijver en filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh werd geboren op 27 oktober 1943 in Sari, Mazandaran.