Dolce far niente
Indian Summer door Victor Coleman Anderson (1882 – 1937), z.j.
When was the redman’s summer?
When the rose
Hung its first banner out? When the gray rock,
Or the brown heath, the radiant kalmia clothed?
Or when the loiterer by the reedy brooks
Started to see the proud lobelia glow
Like living flame? When through the forest gleamed
The rhododendron? Or the fragrant breath
Of the magnolia swept deliciously
Over the half-laden nerve?
No. When the groves
In fleeting colours wrote their own decay,
And leaves fell eddying on the sharpen’d blast
That sang their dirge; when o’er their rustling bed
The red deer sprang, or fled the shrill-voiced quail,
Heavy of wing and fearful; when, with heart
Foreboding or depress’d, the white man mark’d
The signs of coming winter: then began
The Indian’s joyous season. Then the haze,
Soft and illusive as a fairy dream,
Lapp’d all the landscape in its silvery fold.
The quiet rivers, that were wont to hide
‘Neath shelving banks, beheld their course betray’d
By the white mist that o’er their foreheads crept,
While wrapp’d in morning dreams, the sea and sky
Slept ‘neath one curtain, as if both were merged
In the same element. Slowly the sun,
And all reluctantly, the spell dissolved,
And then it took upon its parting wing
A rainbow glory.
Gorgeous was the time
Yet brief as gorgeous. Beautiful to thee,
Our brother hunter, but to us replete
With musing thoughts in melancholy train.
Our joys, alas! too oft were woe to thee.
Yet ah! poor Indian! whom we fain would drive
Both from our hearts, and from thy father’s lands,
The perfect year doth bear thee on its crown,
And when we would forget, repeat thy name
Lydia Sigourney (1 september 1791 – 10 juni 1865)
Norwich, Connecticut, de geboorteplaats van Lydia Sigourney op een oude foto
“Davie moved into the hall with the stealthy caution of a trench soldier fearful of snipers. – Andrew, he shouted. His son thundered down the stairs, a wiry, charged life-force, sporting the same dark brown hair as Susan’s, but shorn to a minimalist crop, following Davie through to the living room. – Here eh is, he cheerfully announced for Susan’s benefit. Noting that she was studiously ignoring him, he turned to the boy and asked, – Ye still like it up in yir new room?
Andrew looked up at him and then at Susan. – Ah found a book ah never had before, he told them earnestly.
– That’s good, Susan said, moving over and picking a thread from the boy’s striped T-shirt.
Looking up at his father, Andrew asked, – When can ah get a bike, Dad?
– Soon, son, Davie smiled.
– You said when ah went tae school, Andrew said with great sincerity, his large dark eyes fixing on his father’s in a milder form of accusation than Susan’s.
– Ah did, pal, Davie conceded, – and it’s no long now.
A bike? Where was the money coming from for a bloody bike? Susan Galloway thought, shivering to herself as the blazing, sweltering summer sun beat in relentlessly, through the huge windows.
The First Day at School
Wee Terry and Yvonne Lawson sat with juice and crisps at a wooden table of the Dell Inn, in the concrete enclosure they called the beer garden. They were looking over the fence at the bottom of the yard, down the steep bank, contemplating the ducks in the Water of Leith. Within a few seconds awe turned to boredom; you could only look at ducks for so long, and Terry had other things on his mind. It had been his first day at school and he hadn’t enjoyed it. Yvonne would go next year. Terry said to her that it wasn’t very good and he’d been frightened but now he was with their Ma, and their Dad was there as well, so it was okay.
Their Ma and Dad were talking and they knew their Ma was angry.
– Well, they heard her ask him, – what is it yuv got tae say?
Terry looked up at his Dad who smiled and winked at him before turning back to address the boy’s mother. – No in front ay the bairns, he said coolly.”
Irvine Welsh (Edinburg, 27 september 1958)
De scholen zijn nu állemaal begonnen
Het laatste staartje van vakantiepret
Maakt plaats voor de vertrouwde vaste tred
Plichtmatig wordt de weerzin overwonnen
Naar school of werk sjokt héél het peloton
Bij regen, hagel of de laatste zon
Verbanden tussen nachtrust en geheugen
Zijn thans door onderzoekers blootgelegd
Wie langer slaapt onthoudt meer, wordt gezegd
Tenminste, voorzover geheugens deugen
Want hoe men het ook nameet of berekent
Het was voor men het wist vaak al vertekend
Gebarentaal beheerst hij sowieso
En straks leert hij waarschijnlijk converseren
Zo blijft men een gorilla transformeren:
De vlees-noch-vis-noch-aap-noch-mens Koko
Totdat men horen kan of lip kan lezen:
“Rot op en laat mij een gorilla wezen!”
Ko de Laat (Goirle, 27 september 1969)
Trying to walk
the same way
to the same store
Why we must struggle
“If we have not struggled
as hard as we can
at our strongest
how will we sense
the shape of our losses
or know what sustains
us longest or name
what change costs us,
saying how strange
it is that one sector
of the self can step in
for another in trouble,
how loss activates
a latent double, how
we can feed
as upon nectar
Kay Ryan (San Jose, 27 september 1945)
Fris op het venster, sneeuwwit
Halsreikend naar wie
Vrienden treft men op een bergweg
niet aan zee, noch op een ladder
nergens rechte lijnen en men weet,
dat zelfs cirkels niet bestaan
verweesd, verloren en in de verte
dekken wolken de bergpas af:
kennen planten een moment van sterven
hoe gaan dieren dood en hoe wij?
wie heeft ons tot dit tempo opgejaagd?
de huid weekt ziek los van vlees en bloed
nooit zullen wij onze moedertaal verleren
echt onze onbekende metgezel begrijpen
allengs verworden we tot contouren,
lossen op en trekken zielloos weg
wat valt er nu nog op het laatst te leren
anders dan dat zwijgen vele talen kent?
Ignace Schretlen (Tilburg, 27 september 1952)
The tree uprooted. Sinister music.
Dangling, helpless, I find myself poised
for action when there is no clear warrant.
Impression is what’s important;
you should be aware that, at any second,
I could pounce into the thick of things,
I could explore the unknown with such
finesse & vigor that it would gladly yield up
its most secretest of secrets to me. Let me fly
through the pale green sky of forgetfulness
& you’d better believe all those hands
that make a clumsy grab for me will have
their fingers printed. I’ll know who’s
taking a swipe at me out of the clouds.
When my errant space pod crash lands
in your new life, watch me burn
the lovely vegetation to the ground, smoke
& cinder & regret wafting.
Night time is when I get like this, always
the most challenging time for me—trying to keep it all
together when I can’t even see myself.
Yellow beams of light projected from an object called the sun
hold me in place; ditto the look of concern on your face.
Willingly, I entered into the giant glass container
of a life with you & you alone. My torment
is that I can see out. I build a ladder one ruin
at a time, each of the one million moments
of shame & rage I feel every day
taking me higher & higher, but never over
the walls I’ve trapped myself behind.
Nate Pritts (Syracuse, 27 september 1974)