Scott Cairns, Sharon Olds, Mark Harris, Karel van den Oever, Christoph Wilhelm Aigner


De Amerikaanse dichter, librettist en essayist Scott Cairns werd geboren op 19 november 1954 in Tacoma, Washington. Zie ook alle tags voor Scott Cairns op dit blog.


Another Road Home
After Stevens

It was when he said expansively There is
no such thing as the truth that his thick thumbs
thickened and his lips, purple as grapes,
further purpled. When I also spun such
spinning facilities as these, my own
vines ripened with what I hoped might prove

more promising fruit. Yios mou, set the large
man’s handsome books aside and sit with me
on the airy balcony beside our kind
and loving Father Iakovos. Truth may
prove to be no such a thing as matter
for our mulling; still, this evening spread out

before our mountain, above our mountain tea
suggests in its late, cypress-scented air
a pressing density, a wine-like, whelming
cup, ksinómavro—deep and dark, substantial.
And the road? Meandering, manifestly
inconclusive, and for that reason not
so likely to ferment blithe disregard.



Early Frost

This morning the world’s white face reminds us
that life intends to become serious again.
And the same loud birds that all summer long
annoyed us with their high attitudes and chatter
silently line the gibbet of the fence a little stunned,
chastened enough.

They look as if they’re waiting for things
to grow worse, but are watching the house,
as if somewhere in their dim memories
they recall something about this abandoned garden
that could save them.

The neighbor’s dog has also learned to wake
without exaggeration. And the neighbor himself
has made it to his car with less noise, starting
the small engine with a kind of reverence. At the window
his wife witnesses this bleak tableau, blinking
her eyes, silent.

I fill the feeders to the top and cart them
to the tree, hurrying back inside
to leave the morning to these ridiculous
birds, who, reminded, find the rough shelters,
bow, and then feed.


Scott Cairns (Tacoma, 19 november 1954)


De Amerikaanse dichteres Sharon Olds werd geboren op 19 november 1942 in San Francisco. Zie ook alle tags voor Sharon Olds op dit blog.


The Month of June: 13 1/2

As our daughter approaches graduation and
puberty at the same time, at her
own, calm, deliberate, serious rate,
she begins to kick up her heels, jazz out her
hands, thrust out her hipbones, chant
I’m great! I’m great! She feels 8th grade coming
open around her, a chrysalis cracking and
letting her out, it falls behind her and
joins the other husks on the ground,
7th grade, 6th grade, the
magenta rind of 5th grade, the
hard jacket of 4th when she had so much pain,
3rd grade, 2nd, the dim cocoon of
1st grade back there somewhere on the path, and
kindergarten like a strip of thumb-suck blanket
taken from the actual blanket they wrapped her in at birth.
The whole school is coming off her shoulders like a
cloak unclasped, and she dances forth in her
jerky sexy child’s joke dance of
self, self, her throat tight and a
hard new song coming out of it, while her
two dark eyes shine
above her body like a good mother and a
good father who look down and
love everything their baby does, the way she
lives their love.



My Son The Man

Suddenly his shoulders get a lot wider,
the way Houdini would expand his body
while people were putting him in chains. It seems
no time since I would help him to put on his sleeper,
guide his calves into the gold interior,
zip him up and toss him up and
catch his weight. I cannot imagine him
no longer a child, and I know I must get ready,
get over my fear of men now my son
is going to be one. This was not
what I had in mind when he pressed up through me like a
sealed trunk through the ice of the Hudson,
snapped the padlock, unsnaked the chains,
and appeared in my arms. Now he looks at me
the way Houdini studied a box
to learn the way out, then smiled and let himself be manacled.


Sharon Olds (San Francisco, 19 november 1942)



De Amerikaanse schrijver en literaire biograaf Mark Harris (eig. Mark Harris Finklestein) werd geboren op 19 november 1922 in Mount Vernon, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Mike Harris op dit blog.

Uit: Bang the Drum Slowly

“We made a fast stop at the bank, and then she drove me to the depot. “Take care of 600 Dollars,” I said, which was what we kept calling him before she was born. She was 3 months pregnant at the time. She said she would, and I kissed her and said I would be back in a couple days. I was not back for 6 months.
I flew through a snowstorm from Albany to Chicago, the stewardess going up and down the isle smiling with her big white teeth and singing, “Tra-la, this is nothing but a snowstorm.” She said we were over it, but it looked to me like we were in it. It got very dark inside the plane, and I started getting these flash pictures of the whole goddam machine coming to a dead stop 30,000 feet over Indiana or somewhere, and the stewardess said to me, “Are you the Henry Wiggen?”
I said I was. It made me feel pretty good, for it been some time since anybody asked me that in just that way, not selling me anything, only asking. In the summer of 52 I was the toast of New York, but 2 years later I couldn’t of got a traffic ticket squashed. She said, “I bought a copy of your book at the American airport in Cairo, Egypt.” She had very big white teeth and quite a lovely smile and all, and right away my X-ray eye started seeing through her uniform and down to the girl herself. You know how you do. One minute you are picturing yourself dead in Indiana and the next minute a girl glides in View and gives you a smile and a little thing like a snowstorm at 30,000 feet don’t seem to make much of an impression any more.
The upshot of it was we wound up over coffee in the airport in Chicago. She told me what a lonely and gloomy city Chicago was on a snowy night. I will probably just lay on my bed curled up with a magazine,” she said, and now I begun getting pictures of her curled up like a girl does.
“No doubt you have got a roomie for company,” said I.”


Mark Harris (19 november 1922 – 30 mei 2007)
Scene uit een theateropvoering in Chicago, 2012



De Vlaamse dichter, essayist en toneelschrijver Karel van den Oever werd geboren in Antwerpen op 19 november 1879. Zie ook alle tags voor Karel van den Oevern op dit blog.


In memoriam

Gouden geruchten gaan uit uw ogen;
‘k hoor het breken van uw hart
en uw polsslag diep-bewogen
door de smart;

de avond huivert wijl het kil is;
aan uw wimper beeft een traan;
Och, hoe de avond zwijgt en stil is
en vol maan.



Het beukenbos is bruin als oud-geroest ijzer
en er staat een eik vol gouden munt,
de bewaasde vijver ligt vol puin van blâren
gelijk in mijn hart ’t verdriet van de dag.

En er zit een mus eenzaam op een tak
zoals ik-zelf woon in dit land.

O mijn hersens, verkankerd van ’t verdriet,
en mijn bloed verouderd in mijn lijf…

De vliegzwam gloeit als een bloedvlek in ’t bos
en ’t bos ruikt als een lijk;

mijn voeten gaan over ’t mollig mos
als over week, rot vlees…

En ik denk aan Jezus-Christus, mijn God,
die stierf op een dood hout uit ’t bos,

o, Jezus-Christus!…


Karel van den Oever (19 november 1879 – 6 oktober 1926)



De Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Christoph Wilhelm Aigner werd geboren op 18 november 1954 in Wels. Zie ook alle tags voor Christoph Wilhelm Aigner op dit blog.

Uit: Logik der Wolken

“Der Dichter Cardarelli und der Maler Amerigo Bartoli pflegten eine Freundschaft, die kleine Bissigkeiten nicht ausschloss. Ennio Flaiano hielt einige Aussprüche in seinen »Blättern der Via Veneto« (Rom) fest; zum Beispiel im Juli 1957: Bartoli sagt über Cardarelli, er sei der größte sterbende Dichter. Cardarelli antwortet auf die Frage einer Bekannten, was denn Bartoli mache: er wächst nicht gnädige Frau, er wächst nicht. Und weiter auf die kleine Statur des Malers anspielend: nachts kann er nicht schlafen und spaziert nervös unterm Bett auf und ab.
Flaiano war auch Zeuge eines kleinen Interviews mit Cardarelli im selben Monat:
– Cardarelli, was halten Sie von Literaturpreisen?
– Stellen Sie mir keine dummen Fragen.
– Also sind Sie gegen Literaturpreise?
– Wenn es sich um ein Geschenk handelt, nein. Wenn es sich um ein Urteil handelt, ja. Ich finde es unverschämt, wenn sich Schriftsteller zusammentun, um das Werk eines anderen Schriftstellers zu beurteilen. Allerdings … wenn ihr tatsächlich die besten Schriftsteller auszeichnen müsst, dann solltet ihr hin und wieder einen der schlechtesten bestrafen.
– Aber die großen Preise, der Nobel zum Beispiel?
– Die großen Preise werden nie an den Schriftsteller vergeben, sondern an seine Leser. Die armen Seelen, sie verdienen sichs.
– Haben Sie schon entschieden, für wen Sie beim diesjährigen Premio Strega stimmen?
– Ja, aber ich habe nichts von ihm gelesen. Das fehlte gerade noch …
– Wie? Sie vertraun einfach?
– Nein. Solche Stimmen gibt man mit einer bestimmten Verachtung.“

Christoph Wilhelm Aigner (Wels, 18 november 1954)



Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 19e november ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.