De slaapwandelende engelen
ook nog de onzichtbare ogen
van de alkoven,
tegen een koning in duisternis.
Jullie weten wel dat mijn mond
een put vol namen is,
vol nummers en dode letters.
Dat de echo’s zich vervelen
zonder mijn woorden
en datgene wat ik nooit zei
de wind misprijst en haat.
Jullie mogen niets horen.
Laat me met rust!
Maar de oren worden groter
tegen de borst aan.
Van gips, koud,
dalen ze af naar de keel,
naar de trage kelders van het bloed,
naar de buizen van de beenderen.
Een koning is een egel zonder geheim.
Vertaald door Willy Spillebeen
Rafael Alberti (16 december 1902 – 27 oktober 1999)
Portret door Herminio Molero, 2000
La Poule et les caillou
C’était vers le printemps : Cocotte, la poulette,
Du matin jusqu’au soir caquetait, caquetait,
Et tous les jours pondait.
Vainement sur ses œufs se fiait la pauvrette ;
Isabeau, la fermière, au marché les portait :
Aussi Cocotte allait, criait, se lamentait.
Femmes qui me lisez, vous comprendrez sa peine.
Pour lui jouer un malin tour,
Un enfant sur le sable, un jour,
De cailloux blancs et ronds ramasse une douzaine.
Et les pose furtivement
Dans le nid de la désolée.
Il réussit parfaitement.
Voyant ces œufs menteurs, la poule, consolée.
Couve, couve, et s’écrie, en son ravissement :
« L’amour n’est pas une chimère !
Enfin, enfin je serai mère,
Mère de beaux enfants qui feront mon bonheur !… »
Trop tôt s’évanouit cette flatteuse erreur,
Trop tôt l’espoir fit place à la douleur amère.
De ce récit ne riez pas, lecteur :
Notre société de pareils faits abonde.
Souvent bien des penseurs, aussi sages que vous,
Ont cru dans leur cerveau faire germer un monde,
Et n’ont couvé que des cailloux…
Pierre Lachambeaudie (16 december 1807 – 7 juli 1872)
Uit: Essential Stories (The Sack of Lights)
“In a second she was carried away by the traffic, and it waltzed graciously, understandingly about her. She felt its rhythm. Dancing a grotesque step she let herself drift on a river of circling moody joy as though she were another Ophelia floating with flowers about her.
She was dancing in a land of oranges, and she saw women as beautiful as orchids gliding high beside her in their dowager saloons. She chased them as you chase butterflies, but she could not keep up with them. The chauffeurs were at their wits’ ends, swerving to avoid her, as something too awful even to run over. Then as she gambolled the cars began to slow down; she saw the spaces narrowing, the floor of the Circus disappearing under thickening wheels. The traffic crowded, breathing and swearing about her. To her surprise she saw it had stopped. A policeman was coming for her. She wanted to throw her arms round his neck and kiss him, but he gripped one arm and led her away.
“ ’Ere, Lizzy,” he said. “You’d better practise it at home a bit before you try it on ’ere.”
“Yer right. In course y’are,” she shouted at him. “But I must get me lights. Can’t do it without me lights.” And with her free hand she held the sack open like a pail she was filling to wash down flights and flights of stairs with, but in poured the lights instead: all the signs and diagrams and patterns, the bottle that poured endless wine, the engine wheels that never stopped, all the jerks and clicks of brilliance. The last to go was the General, monocle and all.
“Garn, yer wicked ol’ dear,” she laughed, giving him a kick. The following crowd laughed to see her give the policeman one like that.“
V.S. Pritchett ( 16 december 1900 – 20 maart 1997)
Kerstsfeer in Ipswich
Uit: Our Village
“One cannot conceive any thing more perfect than the contempt which the man of transparencies and the man of shoes, must have felt for each other on that evening. There was at least as much vanity in the sturdy industry as in the strenuous idleness, for our shoemaker is a man of substance, he employs three journeymen, two lame, and one a dwarf, so that his shop looks like an hospi-tal; he has purchased the lease of his commodious dwelling, some even say that he has bought it out and out ; and he has only one pretty daughter, a light, de-licate, fair-haired girl of fourteen, the champion, pro-tectress, and playfellow of every brat under three years old, whom she jumps, dances, dandles, and feeds all day long. A very attractive person is that child-loving girl. I have never seen any one in her station who possessed so thoroughly that undefinable charm, the lady-look. See her on a Sunday in her simplicity and her white frock, and she might pass for an earl’s daughter. She likes flowers too, and has a profusion of white stocks under her window, as pure and delicate as herself. The first house on the opposite side of the way is the blacksmith’s ; a gloomy dwelling, where the sun never seems to shine ; dark and smoky within and without, like a forge. The blacksmith is a high officer in our little state, nothing less than a constable ; but, alas ! alas ! when tumults arise, and the constable is called for, he will commonly be found in the thickest of the fray. Lucky would it be for his wife and her eight children if there were no public-house in the land: an inveterate inclination to enter those bewitching doors is Mr. Constable’s only fault. Next to this official dwelling is a spruce brick tene-ment, red, high, and narrow, boasting, one above ano-ther, three sash-windows, the only sash-windows in the village, with a clematis on one side and a rose on the other, tall and narrow like itself. That slender man-sion has a fine genteel look. The little parlour seems made for Hogarth’s old maid and her stunted footboy ; for tea and card-parties,—it would just hold one table ; for the rustle of faded silks, and the splendour of old china ; for the delight of four by honours, and a little snug quiet scandal between the deals ; for affected gen-tility and real starvation. This should have been its destiny ; but fate has been unpropitious ; it belongs to a plump, merry, bustling dame, with four fat, rosy, noisy children, the very essence of vulgarity and plenty.“
Mary Russell Mitford (16 dcember 1787 – 10 januari 1855)
Naked, but for love modesty is unfit,
On my mouth I pressed hers.
And, in carnal trembling, she said:
– Lower, my love, I want your kiss!
In the brute unconsciousness of desire
Frenetic, my mouth obeyed,
And her breasts, so rigid I bit,
Making them stir in sweet uprising.
In sighs of infinite enjoyment
She told me, still almost shouting:
– Lower, my love! – in a frenzy.
In her belly I laid my mouth
– Lower, my love! – she said, crazy,
Moralists, forgive! I obeyed…
Vertaald door Doidimais Brasil
Olavo Bilac (16 december 1865 – 28 december 1918)
André Dias als Olavo Bilac in de musical “Bilac Vê Estrelas”, São Paulo, 2015