Cynan Jones, John Steinbeck, Ruy Belo, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, James T. Farrell, Irwin Shaw

De Welshe schrijver Cynan Jones werd geboren op 27 februari 1975 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Zie ook alle tags voor Cynan Jones op dit blog.

Uit: Cove

He swings the fish from the water, a wild stripe flicking and flashing into the boat, and grabs the line, twisting the hook out, holding the fish down in the footrests. It gasps, thrashes. Drums. Something rapid and primal, ceremonial, in the shallow of the open boat.
Flecks of blood and scales loosen, as if turning to rainbows in his hands as he picks up the fish and breaks its neck, feels the minute rim of teeth inside its jaw on the pad of his forefinger, puts his thumb behind the head and snaps.
The jaw splits and the gills splay, like an opening flower. He was sure he would catch fish. He left just a simple note, ‘Pick salad x’.
He looks briefly towards the inland cliffs, hoping the peregrine might be there, scanning as he patiently undoes the knot of traces, pares the feathers away from each other until they are free and feeds them out. The boat is flecked. Glittered. A heat come to the morning now, convincing and thick.
The kayak lilts. Weed floats. He thinks of her hair in water. The same darkened blonde colour.
It’s unusual to catch only one. Or it was just a straggler. The edge of the shoal.
He retrieves a carrier bag from the drybag in back and puts the fish safe, the metal of it dulling immediately to cloth in his hands. Then he bails out the blood-rusted water that has come into the boat.
Fish don’t have eyelids, remember. In this bright water, it’s likely they are deeper out. He’s been hearing his father’s voice for the last few weeks now. I’ve got this one, though. That’s enough. That’s lunch anyway. The bay lay just a little way north. It was a short paddle from the flat beach inland of him, with the caravans on the low fields above, but it felt private. His father long ago had told him they were the only ones that knew about the bay and that was a good thing between them to believe.
You’ll set the pan on a small fire and cook the mackerel as you used to do together, in the pats of butter you took from the roadside cafe. The butter will be liquid by now, and you will have to squeeze it from the wrapper like an ointment.
He smiled at catching the fish. That part of the day safe.
I should bring her here. All these years and I haven’t. It’s different now. I should bring her.
The bones in the cooling pan, fingers sticky with the toffee of burnt butter.

Cynan Jones (Aberystwyth, 27 februari 1975)


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.

Uit: East of Eden

“Under the live oaks, shaded and dusky, the maidenhair flourished and gave a good smell, and under the mossy banks of the water courses whole clumps of five-fingered ferns and goldy-backs hung down. Then there were harebells, tiny lanterns, cream white and almost sinful looking, and these were so rare and magical that a child, finding one, felt singled out and special all day long.
When June came the grasses headed out and turned brown, and the hills turned a brown which was not brown but a gold and saffron and red—an indescribable color. And from then on until the next rains the earth dried and the streams stopped. Cracks appeared on the level ground. The Salinas River sank under its sand. The wind blew down the valley, picking up dust and straws, and grew stronger and harsher as it went south. It stopped in the evening. It was a rasping nervous wind, and the dust particles cut into a man’s skin and burned his eyes. Men working in the fields wore goggles and tied handkerchiefs around their noses to keep the dirt out.
The valley land was deep and rich, but the foothills wore only a skin of topsoil no deeper than the grass roots; and the farther up the hills you went, the thinner grew the soil, with flints sticking through, until at the brush line it was a kind of dry flinty gravel that reflected the hot sun blindingly.
I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain.’”

John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 – 20 december 1968)
Julie Harris (Abra) en James Dean (Caleb) in de gelijknamige film uit 1955


De Portugese dichter, vertaler en essayist Ruy de Moura Belo werd geboren op 27 februari 1933 in São João da Ribeira, nabij Rio Maior. Zie ook alle tags voor Ruy Belo op dit blog.

Flower Of Solitude

We lived we conversed we resisted
we crossed paths on the street under the trees
we perhaps made a little stir
we traced timid gestures in the air
but what words can explain
that ours was a solitary and silent
profoundly silent heart
and in the end our eyes watched
like eyes that watch in forests
In the midst of the tumultuous city
in the visible angle of its countless edges
the flower of solitude grew lusher each day
We had a name for this
but the ruthless time of men
killed in us the one who was dying
And in this ambitious heart
alone like a man christ dies
What shall we call the void that flows
relentless as a river?
It is born it swells it will empty
and in all of this it’s finally a sea
We lived we conversed we resisted
without realizing that in everything we die a little


A Few Propositions With Birds And Trees That
The Poet Concludes With A Reference To The Heart

Birds are born on the tips of trees
The trees I see yield birds instead of fruit
Birds are the liveliest fruit of trees
Birds begin where trees end
Birds make the trees sing
On reaching the height of birds the trees swell and stir
passing from the vegetable to the animal kingdom
Like birds their leaves alight on the ground
when autumn quietly falls over the fields
I feel like saying that birds emanate from the trees
but I’ll leave that manner of speaking to the novelist
it’s complicated and doesn’t work in poetry
it still hasn’t been isolated from philosophy
I love trees especially those that yield birds
Who hangs them there on the branches?
Whose hand is it whose myriad hand?
I pass by and my heart’s not the same

Vertaald door Richard Zenith

Ruy Belo (27 februari 1933 – 8 augustus 1978)


De Britse dichter en schrijver Lawrence George Durrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1912 in Jalandhar in India. Zie ook alle tags voor Lawrence Durrell op dit blog.

Uit: Prospero’s Cell: A Guide To The Landscape And Manners of The Island Of Corfu

“4.29.37 It is April and we have taken an old fisherman’s house in the extreme north of the island—Kalamai. Ten sea-miles from the town, and some thirty kilo-meters by road, it offers all the charms of seclusion. A white house set like a dice on a rock already venerable with the scars of wind and water. The hill runs clear up into the sky behind it, so that the cypresses and olives overhang this room in which 1 sit and write. We arc upon a bare promontory with its beautiful clean sur-face of metamorphic stone covered in olive and ilex: in the shape of a mons pubis. This is become our unre-grated home. A world. Corcyra.
5.5.37 The books have arrived by water. Confusion, adjec-tives, smoke, and the deafening pumping of the wheezy Diesel engine. Then the calque staggered off in the direction of St. Stephano and the Forty Saints, where the crew will gorge themselves on melons and fall asleep in their coarse woollen vests, one on top of the other, like a litter of cats, under the ikon of St. Spiridion of Holy Memory. We are depending upon this daily calque for our provisions.
5.6.37 Climb to Vigla in the time of cherries and look down. You will sec that the island lies against the mainland roughly in the form of a sickle. On the land-ward side you have a great bay, noble and serene, and almost completely landlocked. Northward the tip of the sickle almost touches Albania and here the trou-bled blue of the Ionian is sucked harshly between ribs of limestone and spits of sand. Kalamai fronts the Albanian foothills, and into it the water races as into a swimming pool: a milky ferocious green when the north wind curdles it.
5.7.37 The cape opposite is bald; a wilderness of rock-this-tle and melancholy asphodel—the drear sea-squill. It was on a ringing spring day that we discovered the house. The sky lav in a heroic blue arc as we came down the stone ladder. I remember N. saying distinctly to Theodore: But the quietness alone makes it another country.” We looked through the hanging screen of olive-branches on to the white sea wall with fishing tackle drying on it. A neglected balcony. The floors were cold. Fowls clucked softly in the gloom where the great olive-press lay, waiting its season. A cypress stood motionless—as if at the gates of the underworld. We shivered and sat on the white rock to eat, looking down at our own faces in the motionless sea. You will think it strange CO have come all the way from Eng-land to this fine Grecian promontory where our only company can be rock, air, sky—and all the elementals. In letters home N. says we have been cultivating the tragic sense.”

Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)
Het witte huis van Durrell in Kalami


De Canadese dichter, schrijver en essayist André Roy werd geboren op 27 februari 1944 in Montréal. Zie ook alle tags van André Roy op dit blog.

Ton âme debout

Ton âme debout,
ton cœur d’hier et d’aujourd’hui
que tu me promets pour demain.
L’univers nerveux;
l’amour durcit quand il devient un muscle.
Le cinéma raconte nos habitudes,
l’histoire de ce que nous aurions pu être
nous deux dans la grâce naturelle,
dans la tristesse naturelle,
dans la vacuité des atomes.
L’éternité des longues larmes;
l’univers nu;
les étrangers criminels que nous sommes
dès notre naissance.


Bouge, dors et ressuscite

Bouge, dors et ressuscite
car le temps est un cri,
un crime commis par Dieu.
Le cercle, la danse, la roue;
le monde miroir;
l’image promise de notre disparition
à notre réveil.
Sang pour sang,
neige sur neige,
la mort était parfaite,
les fantômes avaient peur,
cela s’appellera-t-il encore l’aurore?

André Roy (Montréal, 27 februari 1944)


De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Longfellow op dit blog

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


The Cross of Snow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
A gentle face—the face of one long dead—
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, changeless since the day she died.

Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 – 24 maart 1882) 
Borstbeeld door Thomas Brock in Westminster Abbey


De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. . Zie ook alle tags voor Elisabeth Borchers op dit blog.

eia wasser regnet schlaf

eia wasser regnet schlaf
eia abend schwimmt ins gras
wer zum wasser geht wird schlaf
wer zum abend kommt wird gras
weißes wasser grüner schlaf
großer abend kleines gras
es kommt es kommt
ein fremder

was sollen wir mit dem ertrunkenen matrosen tun?
wir ziehen ihm die stiefel aus
wir ziehen ihm die weste aus
und legen ihn ins gras

     mein kind im fluß ist’s dunkel
     mein kind im fluß ist’s naß

was sollen wir mit dem ertrunkenen matrosen tun?
aaawir ziehen ihm das wasser an
aaawir ziehen ihm den abend an
aaaund tragen ihn zurück

   ein kind du mußt nicht weinen
   mein kind das ist nur schlaf

was sollen wir mit dem ertrunkenen matrosen tun?
wir singen ihm das wasserlied
wir sprechen ihm das grasgebet
dann will er gern zurück

es geht es geht
ein fremder
ins große gras den kleinen abend
im weißen schlaf das grüne naß
und geht zum gras und wird ein abend
und kommt zum schlaf und wird ein naß
eia schwimmt ins gras der abend
eia regnet’s wasserschlaf

Elisabeth Borchers (27 februari 1926 – 25 september 2013)


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thomas Farrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1904 in Chicago. Zie ook alle tags voor James T. Farrell op dit blog.

Uit: Father and Son

„Jim O’Neill sat up in bed and yawned. The bedroom was dark and needed air. Lizz must have closed the window while he was asleep. From the vacant lot outside he could hear children playing. Perhaps his own kids were out there. “Oh, Lizz!” he called, sitting up in bed. “What do you want, Jim?” “What time is it?” “What do you want?” “What time is it?” “Three o’clock.” Still sitting in bed, Jim stretched. He got up and put on his socks, shoes, and pants. He went to the dining room. “I’m going to shave, Lizz, and then can you fix me something to eat?” He went to the bathroom. He lathered his stiff and heavy beard. He’d been living six months in this new place, with a bathroom inside, running hot and cold water, steam heat, gas and electricity. He was used to these conveniences, and now it seemed as if they had never been without them. He sharpened his razor on the strap and began to shave carefully. Yes, no more winters in the cottage where the kids used to gather around the stove and take turns sticking their feet in the oven to get warm. And the new furniture they’d bought when he’d been promoted and they’d moved in here was almost paid for. At least it should be. Lizz handled all that, but he figured she had it about paid for by now. He’d had a good time the day he and Lizz had gone downtown and picked out his new Morris chair. He wiped his razor and ran it over the strap a few times. What made him most happy was Bill. Bill was working now at the express company. He’d always had faith in Bill. What settled Bill was when he and that own life that the nun’s life is a very happy one. But my happiness, the happiness of any nun, is nothing compared to that of the priest. The rewards of being a priest are finer than the rewards of money and fame. They are the rewards of the soul. Why, when you think of what it means to be a priest, when you once realize that the priest is the representative of our Lord on earth, then you begin to see that any boy who turns his back on the call is a fool. It is impossible to imagine what reason there could be to lead one to refuse a vocation. Think of it a moment!” She stopped and glanced around the room, seeing the many boyish faces, some intent, others blank. “If your mother or father wants to give you a wonderful present, you don’t say that you won’t take it.

James T. Farrell (27 februari 1904 – 22 augustus 1979)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Irwin Shaw werd geboren op 27 februari 1913 als Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in New York. Zie alle tags voor Irwin Shaw op dit blog.

Uit: Rich Man, Poor Man

“Gaspard was the leading man of the show and during a break in the re-hearsal he had asked her to come into his dressing room to run over some lines and had practically thrown her on the couch. “He knows a good thing when he sees one, old Gaspard,” Willie said comfortably. “Don’t you think you ought to talk to him and tell him he’d better leave your girl alone?” Gretchen said. “Or maybe hit him in the nose?” “He’d kill me,” Willie said, without shame. “He’s twice my size.” “I’m in love with a coward,” Gretchen said, kissing his ear. “That’s what happens to simple young girls in from the country.” He puffed contentedly on his cigarette. “Anyway, in this department a girl’s on her own. If you’re old enough to go out at night in the Big City you’re old enough to defend yourself.” “I’d beat up anybody who made a pass at you,” Gretchen said. Willie laughed. “I bet you would, too.”
„Nichols was at the theater today. After the rehearsal he said he might have a part for me in a new play next year. A big part, he said.” “You will be a star. Your name will be in lights,” Willie said. “You will discard me like an old shoe.” Just as well now as any other time, she thought. “I may not be able to take a job next season,” she said. “Why not?” He raised on one elbow and looked at her curiously. “I went to the doctor this morning,” she said. “I’m pregnant.” He looked at her hard, studying her face. He sat up and stubbed out his cigarette. “I’m thirsty,” he said. He got out of bed stiffly. She saw the shadow of the long scar low on his spine. He put on an old cotton robe and went into the living room. She heard him pouring his beer. She lay back in the darkness, feeling deserted. I shouldn’t have told him, she thought. Everything is ruined. She remembered the night it must have happened. They had been out late, nearly four o’clock, there had been a long loud argument in somebody’s house. About Emperor Hirohito, of all things. Everybody had had a lot to drink. She had been fuzzy and hadn’t taken any precautions. Usually, they were too tired when they came home to make love. That one goddamn night, they hadn’t been too tired. One for the Emperor of Japan. If he says anything, she thought, I’m going to tell him I’ll have an abortion. She knew she could never have an abortion, but she’d tell him. Willie came back into the bedroom. She turned on the bedside lamp. This conversation was going to be adequately lit. What Willie’s face told her was going to be more important than what he said. She pulled the sheet over herself. Willie’s old cotton robe flapped around his frail figure. It was faded with many washings. “Listen,” Willie said, seating himself on the edge of the bed. “Listen carefully. I am going to get a divorce or I am going to kill the bitch. Then we are going to get married and I am going to take a course in the care and feeding of infants. Do you read me, Miss Jordache?” She studied his face. It was all right. Better than all right. “I read you,” she said softly. He leaned over her and kissed her cheek. She clutched the sleeve of his robe. For Christmas, she would buy him a new robe. Silk.”

Irwin Shaw (27 februari 1913 – 16 mei 1984)
Persfoto voor de gelijknamige mini-tv-serie uit 1976 met Peter Strauss, Susan Blakely en Nick Nolte


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27e februari ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2016 deel 2.

Zie voor bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en eveneens mijn blog van 27 februari 2009.