Dolce far niente – The Narrow Door (Fannie Stearns Davis)

Dolce far niente –  Bij de 21e zondag door het jaar


The Narrow Door door Anthony Falbo, 2014

The Narrow Doors

The Wide Door into Sorrow
Stands open night and day.
With head held high and dancing feet
I pass it on my way.

I never tread within it,
I never turn to see
The Wide Door into Sorrow.
It cannot frighten me.

The Narrow Doors to Sorrow
Are secret, still, and low:
Swift tongues of dusk that spoil the sun
Before I even know.

My dancing feet are frozen.
I stare. I can but see.
The Narrow Doors to Sorrow
They stop the heart in me.

Oh, stranger than my midnights
Of loneliness and strife
The Doors that let the dark leap in
Across my sunny life!

Fannie Stearns Davis (30 april 1877 – 15 februari 1930)


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 25e augustus ook mijn blog van 25 augustus 2018.

Fannie Stearns Davis

De Amerikaanse dichteres Fannie Stearns Davis werd geboren in Cleveland, Ohio, op 6 maart 1884. Ze studeerde af aan het Smith College in 1904. Ze heeft twee dichtbundels gepubliceerd: “Myself and I”, 1913, en “Crack O ‘Dawn”, 1915. Haar poëzie wordt gekenmerkt door een gevoelig poëtisch gevoel en delicate kunstzinnigheid. Davis gaf van 1906-07 Engels les aan de Kemper Hall in Kenoshay, Wisconsin. In 1910 hielp ze haar broer, William Stearns Davis, bij het bewerken van zijn klassieke historische boek, “A Day in Old Athens”. Jessie Bell Rittenhouse was een van de vele mensen die de lyrische kwaliteit van de poëzie van Davis prezen.


My Soul goes clad in gorgeous things,
  Scarlet and gold and blue;
And at her shoulder sudden wings
  Like long flames flicker through.

And she is swallow-fleet, and free
  From mortal bonds and bars.
She laughs, because Eternity
  Blossoms for her with stars!

O folk who scorn my stiff gray gown,
  My dull and foolish face,—
Can ye not see my Soul flash down,
  A singing flame through space?

And folk, whose earth-stained looks I hate,
  Why may I not divine
Your Souls, that must be passionate,
  Shining and swift, as mine!



Home, to the hills and the rough, running water;
Home, to the plain folk and cold winds again.
Oh, I am only a gray farm’s still daughter,
Spite of my wandering passion and pain!

Home, from the city that snares and enthralls me;
Home, from the bold light and bold weary crowd.
Oh, it’s the blown snow and bare field that calls me;
White star and shy dawn and wild lonely cloud!

Home, to the gray house the pine-trees guard, sighing;
Home, to the low door that laughts to my touch.
How should I know till my wings failed me, flying,
Home-nest, – my heart’s nest, – I loved you so much?


Fannie Stearns Davis (30 april 1877 – 15 februari 1930)
Cover (Geen portret beschikbaar)