Dolce far niente, Mies Bouhuys, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Frederik Lucien De Laere, Louis Th. Lehmann, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt

Dolce far niente

 

 
Rembrandtplein door Agatha Zethraeus, ca. 1911

 

Amsterdam

De gids zegt: kijk! De gids zegt: look!
De gids zegt: regardez!
Hier schreef Spinoza aan een boek,
daar stroomt het IJ naar zee.
Maar daarom niet, maar daarom niet,
om wat een ander erin ziet,
blijf ik in Amsterdam.
Maar om de gekke geveltjes,
om al die groene grachten,
om al die lichte venstertjes,
blijf ik hier overnachten.

De gids zegt: Hier! De gids zegt: There!
De gids zegt: Eh voilà!
Hier woonde ’t laatste huisje rechts
Rembrandt met Saskia.
Maar daarom niet, nee, daarom niet,
om wat een ander ervan ziet,
blijf ik in Amsterdam.
Maar om de scheve kamertjes
waar anderen niets om geven,
vol vrouwtjes en vol mannetjes,
blijf ik hier heel mijn leven.

De gids zegt: Dam! De gids zegt: Munt!
De gids zegt: Rembrandtplein.
Wij staan hier op een historisch punt,
waar u geweest moet zijn.
De gids zegt dit, de gids zegt dat.
Ik zeg alleen maar: gekke stad.
Alleen maar: Amsterdam.

 

 
Mies Bouhuys (10 januari 1927 – 30 juni 2008)
Weesp, de geboorteplaats van Mies Bouhuys

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Dolce far niente, Mies Bouhuys, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Frederik Lucien De Laere, Louis Th. Lehmann, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt”

Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Frederik Lucien De Laere, Louis Th. Lehmann, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, John Dryden

De Engelse schrijver Jonathan Coe werd geboren op 19 augustus 1961 in Birmingham. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Jonathan Coe op dit blog.

Uit:Number 11

“The round tower soared up, black and glistening, against the slate grey of a late-October sky. As Rachel and her brother walked towards it across the moor, from the east, it was framed by two leafless, skeletal ash trees. It was the hour before dusk on a windless afternoon. When they reached the trees, they would be able to rest on the bench that stood between them, and look back towards Beverley in the near distance, the neat clusters of houses and, rising up in the midst of them, the monumental, answering greyish-cream towers of the Minster.
Nicholas flopped down on the bench. Rachel – then only six years old, eight years his junior – did not join him: she was impatient to run up towards the black tower, to get close to it. She left her brother to his rest and scurried onwards, squelching her way through the cow-trodden mud that surrounded the foot of the tower until she was right up against it, and could lay her hands upon the gleaming black brickwork. The flat of both hands upon the tower, she looked upwards and could not comprehend the size and scale of it, the perfect, lucid curve as it arched itself, like a sway back, against a threatening sky through which a pair of rooks were now skimming, cawing and circling endlessly.
‘What did it use to be?’ she asked.
Nicholas had joined her now. He shrugged. ‘Dunno. Some kind of windmill, maybe.’
‘Do you think we could get inside?’
‘It’s all bricked up.’
There was a circular wooden bench running all around the base of the tower, and when Nicholas sat there, Rachel sat beside him and stared up into his pale, unresponsive blue eyes, which for all their coldness only made her feel how lucky she was, how blessed, to have an older brother like this, so handsome and confident. She hoped that one day her hair would be as blonde as his, her mouth as shapely, her skin as downy and clear. She nestled against his shoulder, as close as she dared. She didn’t want to be a drag upon him, didn’t want him to become too aware that, in this strange and unfamiliar town, he was the only thing that made her feel safe.
‘You cold or something?’ he asked, looking down at her.
‘A bit.’ She inched away slightly. ‘Will it be warm where they are, d’you think?’
‘Course it will. There’d be no point going on holiday somewhere where it’s cold, would there?’
‘I wish they’d taken us with them,’ said Rachel feelingly.
‘Well, they didn’t. So that’s that.’


Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 19 augustus 1961)

Bewaren

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Frederik Lucien De Laere, Louis Th. Lehmann, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, John Dryden”

Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Louis Th. Lehmann, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden

De Engelse schrijver Jonathan Coe werd geboren op 19 augustus 1961 in Birmingham. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Jonathan Coe op dit blog.

Uit: Rain Before It Falls

“Let me see, now. The caravan itself is half-obscured, in this picture, by overhanging trees. It had been placed, for some reason, in one of the most remote corners of the grounds, and left there for many years. This photograph captures it just as I remember it: eerie, neglected, the woodwork starting to rot and the metalwork corroding into rust. It was tiny, as this image confirms. The shape, I think, is referred to as “teardrop”: that is to say, the rear end is rounded, describing a small, elegant curve, while the front seems to have been chopped off, and is entirely flat. It’s a curious shape: in effect, the caravan looks as though it is only half there. The trees hanging over its roof and trailing fingers down the walls are some kind of birch, I believe. The caravan had been placed on the outskirts of a wood: in fact the dividing line between this wood–presumably common land–and the furthest reaches of Uncle Owen’s property was difficult to determine. A more modern caravan might have had a picture window at the front; this one, I see, had only two small windows, very high up, and a similar window at the side. No surprise, then, that it was always dark inside. The door was solid and dark, and made of wood, like the whole of the bottom half of the caravan–even the towbar. That’s an odd feature, isn’t it?–but I’m sure that I am right. It rested on four wooden legs, and always sat closer to the ground than it should have done, because both the tyres were flat. The windows were filthy, too, and the whole thing gave the appearance of having been abandoned and fallen into irreversible decay. But to a child, of course, that simply made it all the more attractive. I can only imagine that Ivy and Owen had bought it many years ago–in the 1920s, perhaps, when they were first married–and had stopped using it as soon as they had children. Inside there were only two bunks, so it would have been quite useless for family holidays.
How many weeks was it, I wonder, before Beatrix and I set up camp there together? Or was it only a matter of days? They say that split seconds and aeons become interchangeable when you experience intense emotion, and after my arrival at Warden Farm I was soon feeling a sense of loneliness and homesickness which I find it impossible to describe. I was beside myself with unhappiness.”

 
Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 19 augustus 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Louis Th. Lehmann, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden”

Louis Th. Lehmann, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden

De Nederlandse schrijver, dichter en vertaler Louis Th. Lehmann werd geboren op 19 augustus 1920 in Rotterdam. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Louis Th. Lehmann op dit blog.

Vogels

Zeevaarders wilden altijd vogels
Sumeriërs brachten naar de kaden
van Ur de pauwen van de Indus.

Zeevaarders willen altijd vogels;
dodo’s groter dan pingewijnen,
de bonte vogels, pootloos vliegend,
die men nooit zien zal voor hun doodval,
en papegaaien, papegaaien,
het vlagvertoon van verre landen.

Al stelden vogels soms teleur;
de vogels van Virginia,
de whippoorwills en de kalkoenen,

liefst zou men thuisgevaren zijn
met rijen vogels op de raas,
geen alken, meeuwen, albatrossen;
de wachters van het eigen graf,
maar warme vogels van de wal.

 

Een gracht, waar eend en waterhoen

Een gracht, waar eend en waterhoen
voortdurend watertrappen
om voort te gaan, niet om te drijven
zoals de watervreemde mens.

Als zij vooruitgaan
maken zij een dubbelspoor
van kleine kolken,
en boegwater als de verticale
doorsnee van een pannendak,
negentig graden omgeklapt

 
Louis Th. Lehmann (19 augustus 1920 – 23 december 2012)
Portret door Paul Citroen, 1949

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Louis Th. Lehmann, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden”

Louis Th. Lehmann, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden

De Nederlandse schrijver, dichter en vertaler Louis Th. Lehmann werd geboren op 19 augustus 1920 in Rotterdam. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Louis Th. Lehmann op dit blog.

 

De zin van het leven en zo

Als aan de minimum eis:
onsterfelijkheid, eeuwige jeugd
zonder lichamelijke of geestelijke ongemakken
voldaan is,
zouden we er eens over kunnen praten
of het de moeite waard is
je ergens voor in te spannen.

 

Small Talk

Als verzen nog geen verzen zijn,
maar woorden in mijn hoofd,
dan lijken ze heel even fijn,
net iets dat wat belooft.

Ik word, als soms met een roman,
nieuwsgierig en haast blij.
Maar als ze op papier staan, dan
is dat gevoel voorbij.

En dus vergeet ik ze ook gauw,
kijk ik er nog eens naar,
dan denk ik: Hé schreef ik dat nou?
Wat handig, en wat raar.

 

 

Louis Th. Lehmann (19 augustus 1920 – 23 december 2012)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Louis Th. Lehmann, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden”

Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden, Samuel Richardson, Jerzy Andrzejewski, James Gould Cozzens, Claude Gauvreau, Inigo de Mendoza

De Iers-Amerikaanse schrijver Frank McCourt werd geboren op 19 augustus 1930 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Frank McCourt op dit blog.

 

Uit: Angela’s Ashes

 

She spat twice on my head.
Grandma, will you please stop spitting on my head.
If you have anything to say, shut up. A little spit won’t kill you. Come on, we’ll be late for the Mass.
We ran to the church. My mother panted along behind with Michael in her arms. We arrived at the church just in time to see the last of the boys leaving the altar rail where the priest stood with the chalice and the host, glaring at me. Then he placed on my tongue the wafer, the body and blood of Jesus. At last, at last.
It’s on my tongue. I draw it back.
It stuck.
I had God glued to the roof of my mouth. I could hear the master’s voice, Don’t let that host touch your teeth for if you bite God in two you’ll roast in hell for eternity. I tried to get God down with my tongue but the priest hissed at me, Stop that clucking and get back to your seat. God was good. He melted and I swallowed Him and now, at last, I was a member of the True Church, an official sinner.
When the Mass ended there they were at the door of the church, my mother with Michael in her arms, my grandmother. They each hugged me to their bosoms. They each told me it was the happiest day of my life. They each cried all over my head and after my grandmother’s contribution that morning my head was a swamp.
Mam, can I go now and make The Collection?
She said, After you have a little breakfast.
No, said Grandma. You’re not making no collection till you have a proper First Communion breakfast at my house. Come on.
We followed her. She banged pots and rattled pans and complained that the whole world expected her to be at their beck and call. I ate the egg, I ate the sausage, and when I reached for more sugar for my tea she slapped my hand away”.

 

 

 

Frank McCourt (19 augustus 1930 – 19 juli 2009)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, John Dryden, Samuel Richardson, Jerzy Andrzejewski, James Gould Cozzens, Claude Gauvreau, Inigo de Mendoza”

90 Jaar Louis Th. Lehmann, Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, Frederik Lucien De Laere, Jerzy Andrzejewski, James Gould Cozzens, John Dryden, Samuel Richardson, Claude Gauvreau, Inigo de Mendoza

De Nederlandse schrijver, dichter en vertaler Louis Th. Lehmann, werd geboren op 19 augustus 1920 in Rotterdam. Louis Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008. en eveneens mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009. Th. Lehmann viert vandaag zijn 90e verjaardag.

Een kind te zijn is triest

Een kind te zijn is triest zijn en ontgoocheld.
Wanneer wij ons vervelen,
zegt men ons te spelen;
en wij weten niet wat spelen is.

Als de padvindersfluit,
waarvan gezegd is,
dat hij echt is,
die is beloofd
en daarom gevraagd,
eindelijk is gegeven,
wordt hij afgenomen
om het geluid.

Wij weten ook wel dat het maar één toon is,
zo hard, zo koud,
door geen manier van blazen te vermurwen.

Maar wij zoeken muziek
en blazen hoewel het haast pijn doet.
Wij wachten tegen beter weten
op een melodie die komen moet
zo maar vanzelf,
zo licht en zwevend.

 

Als ik in mijn tuin aan ’t werk ben

Als ik in mijn tuin aan ’t werk ben,
met de heuvels achter mij,
komen neer vanaf de heuvels:
Bargaluut, met zijn drie haren
en zijn stem als van een zaag;
Schorkenool, die steeds wijdbeens loopt
om zijn buik te laten slepen
achter hem over de grond;
Kraddewimpel, met één oog
en zijn manden vol met pruimen,
die hij neerzet op de drempels
van de huizen van zijn dochters.
En daarachter nog de kleintjes
met hun puntmuts en hun hooivork,
die vannacht mij komen prikken,
mij en iedereen in ’t dorp.

 lehman

Louis Th. Lehmann (Rotterdam, 19 augustus 1920)

 

De Engelse schrijver Jonathan Coe werd geboren op 19 augustus 1961 in Birmingham. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008 en eveneens mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Uit: Rain Before It Falls

„I have not yet described Warden Farm–the house itself–in any detail, but I think I will talk about the caravan first. It was one of the first things that Beatrix showed me in the garden, and it quickly became the place where we would retreat and hide together. You could say that everything started from there.
Aunt Ivy gave me this photograph herself, I remember, at the end of my time living at her house. It was one of her few real acts of kindness. Beneath her warm and welcoming exterior, she turned out to be a rather distant, unapproachable woman. She and her husband had built for themselves an active and comfortable life, which revolved mainly around hunting and shooting and all the associated social activities which came with them. She was a busy organizer of hunt balls, tennis-club suppers and the like. Also, she doted on her two sons, athletic and sturdy boys–good-natured, too, but not very well endowed in the brains department, it seems to me in retrospect. None of these things, at any rate, made her inclined to expend much of her attention on me–the unwanted guest, the evacuee–or indeed on her daughter, Beatrix. Therein lay the seeds of the problem. Neglected and resentful, Beatrix seized upon me as soon as I arrived, knowing that in me she had found someone in an even more vulnerable position than her own, someone it would be easy to enlist as her devoted follower. She showed me kindness and she showed me attention: these things were enough to win my loyalty, and indeed I have never forgotten them even to this day, however selfish her motives might have been at the time.
The housewas large, and full of places we might have made our own: unvisited, secret places. But in Beatrix’s mind–though I did not understand this until later–it was “their” place, it belonged to the family by whom she felt so rejected, and so she chose somewhere else, somewhere quite separate, as the place where she and I should pursue our friendship. That was why we spent so much of our time, during those early days and weeks, in the caravan.“

coe

Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 19 augustus 1961)

 

De Amerikaanse dichter Li-Young Lee werd geboren op 19 augustus 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesië. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Eating Alone

I’ve pulled the last of the year’s young onions.
The garden is bare now. The ground is cold,
brown and old. What is left of the day flames
in the maples at the corner of my
eye. I turn, a cardinal vanishes.
By the cellar door, I wash the onions,
then drink from the icy metal spigot.

Once, years back, I walked beside my father
among the windfall pears. I can’t recall
our words. We may have strolled in silence. But
I still see him bend that way-left hand braced
on knee, creaky-to lift and hold to my
eye a rotten pear. In it, a hornet
spun crazily, glazed in slow, glistening juice.

It was my father I saw this morning
waving to me from the trees. I almost
called to him, until I came close enough
to see the shovel, leaning where I had
left it, in the flickering, deep green shade.

White rice steaming, almost done. Sweet green peas
fried in onions. Shrimp braised in sesame
oil and garlic. And my own loneliness.
What more could I, a young man, want.

 

Eating Together

In the steamer is the trout
seasoned with slivers of ginger,
two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil.
We shall eat it with rice for lunch,
brothers, sister, my mother who will
taste the sweetest meat of the head,
holding it between her fingers
deftly, the way my father did
weeks ago. Then he lay down
to sleep like a snow-covered road
winding through pines older than him,
without any travelers, and lonely for no one.

 Lee

Li-Young Lee (Jakarta, 19 augustus 1957)

 

De Amerikaanse dichter Frederic Ogden Nash werd geboren in Rye, New York, op 19 augustus 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006. en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

A Drink With Something In It

There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth–
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

 

Children’s Party

May I join you in the doghouse, Rover?
I wish to retire till the party’s over.
Since three o’clock I’ve done my best
To entertain each tiny guest. My conscience now I’ve left behind me,
And if they want me, let them find me.
I blew their bubbles, I sailed their boats,
I kept them from each other’s throats. I told them tales of magic lands,
I took them out to wash their hands.
I sorted their rubbers and tied their laces,
I wiped their noses and dried their faces. Of similarities there’s lots
Twixt tiny tots and Hottentots.
I’ve earned repose to heal the ravages
Of these angelic-looking savages. Oh, progeny playing by itself
Is a lonely little elf,
But progeny in roistering batches
Would drive St. francis from here to Natchez. Shunned are the games a parent proposes,
They prefer to squirt each other with hoses,
Their playmates are their natural foemen
And they like to poke each other’s abdomen. Their joy needs another woe’s to cushion it,
Say a puddle, and someone littler to push in it.
They observe with glee the ballistic results
Of ice cream with spoons for catapults, And inform the assembly with tears and glares
That everyone’s presents are better than theirs.
Oh, little women and little men,
Someday I hope to love you again, But not till after the party’s over,
So give me the key to the doghouse, Rover

 nash

Ogden Nash (19 augustus 1902 – 19 mei 1971)

 

De Iers-Amerikaanse schrijver Frank McCourt werd geboren op 19 augustus 1930 in New York. Frank McCourt overleed op 19 juli van dit jaar. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009 en ook mijn In Memoriam van 19 juli 2009 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008. en mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006.

Uit: Angela’s Ashes

“Out in the Atlantic Ocean great sheets of rain gathered to drift slowly up the River Shannon and settle forever in Limerick. The rain dampened the city from the Feast of the Circumcision to New Year’s Eve. It created a cacophony of hacking coughs, bronchial rattles, asthmatic wheezes, consumptive croaks. It turned noses into fountains, lungs into bacterial sponges. It provoked cures galore; to ease the catarrh you boiled onions in milk blackened with pepper; for the congested passages you made a paste of boiled flour and nettles, wrapped it in a rag, and slapped it, sizzling, on the chest.

From October to April the walls of Limerick glistened with the damp. Clothes never dried: tweed and woolen coats housed living things, sometimes sprouted mysterious vegetations. In pubs, steam rose from damp bodies and garments to be inhaled with cigarette and pipe smoke laced with the stale fumes of spilled stout and whiskey and tinged with the odor of piss wafting in from the outdoor jakes where many a man puked up his week’s wages.

The rain drove us into the church — our refuge, our strength, our only dry place. At Mass, Benediction, novenas, we huddled in great damp clumps, dozing through priest drone, while steam rose again from our clothes to mingle with the sweetness of incense, flowers and candles.

Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain.

My father, Malachy McCourt, was born on a farm in Toome, County Antrim. Like his father before, he grew up wild, in trouble with the English, or the Irish, or both. He fought with the Old IRA and for some desperate act he wound up a fugitive with a price on his head.

When I was a child I would look at my father, the thinning hair, the collapsing teeth, and wonder why anyone would give money for a head like that. When I was thirteen my father’s mother told me a secret: as a wee lad your poor father was dropped on his head. It was an accident, he was never the same after, and you must remember that people dropped on their heads can be a bit peculiar.”

mccourt

Frank McCourt (19 augustus 1930 – 19 juli 2009)
Filmaffiche

 

De Vlaamse dichter Frederik Lucien De Laere werd geboren in Brugge op 19 augustus 1971. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Immuniteit

in onze bios baden beresterke berbers
die de hel van de woestijn overleefden
en zweefden op het manna en de mantra
van de god die genadig gading schonk
maar ook harde tafels en wetten van bloed
om te ontvangen een gestel van kruppstaal
een huid volgescholden tot een schild
en binnenin zuur en slijm neutraliserend
de nucleus van de vijand tot ongevaar
de stress weggesist, met een list verbannen
globulines als belles dames die hun prooien
kooien -sans merci- en zich met hun hoofden
tooien: een trail & error evolutionaire track
naar een taai organisme met defense mode
dat zich wel eens tegen zichzelf keert
wanneer het zich verveelt, en dan teert
op de suiker of de huid aantast met een tirade
van vlekken maar het gaat doorgaans als volgt:
er vormt zich een heilige triade
van pijn, roodheid en warmte
voor de indringer die zich in het lichaam dwingt
maar al vlug is gesnapt, omringd door een zwerm,
een dodelijk kapsel dat het vreemde capteert
en dissecteert tot dolende fragmenten
van een compact gevaar dat kan leiden
tot een nooit geziene cataract
die de geschiedenis van a tot z herschrijft
in een onontcijferbare schijf, een vreemde code
van een vreemd virus dat ons binnenrijft.

lucien

Frederik Lucien De Laere (Brugge, 19 augustus 1971)

 

De Poolse schrijver Jerzy Andrzejewski werd geboren in Warschau op 19 augustus 1909. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Uit: As en diamant (Vertaald door W. A. Meyer)

Toen hij de vrouw ontwaarde, die door de straat in de richting van de brug te Sreniawa liep, zwenkte Podgorski opzij naar het trottoir en bracht de wagen bruusk tot stilstand. Twee jongere met stenguns gewapende politiemannen, die achterin de auto zaten, namen direct een waakzame houding aan. De districtssecretaris Szczuka, die naast Podgorski zat, ging daarentegen rechtop zitten en hief zijn zware, door een te korte slaap gezwollen oogleden naar de chauffeur. ‘panne?’ ‘Neen. ’n Ogenblikje, kameraad secretaris’. Zonder de motor af te zetten, sprong hij uit de jeep, en met zijn beslagen laarzen luidt op de stenen tikkend, begon hij de vrouw na te rennen, die de brug reeds naderde. Het trottoir was nog niet hersteld, op deze plek was het stukgeslagen door granaten, zij moest dus op de rijweg lopen. Zij liep langzaam, met gebogen hoofd, de schouders ook ietwat naar voren en droeg in de linkerhand een volgeladen tas.
‘Mevrouw Alice!’ riep hij.
Mevrouw Kossecka was zo in gedachten dat, toen zij zich omkeerde en de jonge man voor zich zag, gekleed in de militaire broek, met de hoge laarzen en de donkere trui oner de losgeknoopte leren jekker, zij de voormalige assistent van haar man het eerste ogenblik niet herkende. Maar Podgorski had teveel haast en was te zeer verheugd met deze onverwachte ontmoeting, om in de ogen van mevrouw Alice twijfel te ontdekken. ‘Goedendag!’ Hij kuste haar hand. ‘Wat een geluk dat ik u vanuit de auto zag.’ Nu pas herkende zij hem door zijn ietwat hese stem en de karakteristieke buiging van zijn om de slapen te smalle hoofd. Hij had zich sedert dagen niet geschoren en de schaduw van de baardgroei verdonkerde zijn magere gezicht. Zij zette de zwaargeladen tas op de grond en begon vriendelijk te glimlachen. Ondanks de grijze haren, de talrijke groeven op het voorhoofd en de vermoeidheid in haar ogen, had zij ee nog jeugdige glimlach…“

Andrzejewski

Jerzy Andrzejewski (19 augustus 1909 – 19 april 1983)

Jerzy Andrzejewski in 1949

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver James Gould Cozzens werd geboren op 19 augustus 1903 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Uit: Guard of Honor

„Enemies of Woody’s, a “hostile clique” trying to do-him-in, would have asked nothing better than a chance to make these attitudes and opinions of Colonel Woodman’s known at AAF Headquarters. Woody made them known himself, in black and white, over his signature. Colonel Ross could not help thinking that the evidence showed, if anything, that there were “certain parties” at Headquarters who were still ready, for old times’ sake, to cover for Woody, to try and keep him out of trouble. An angry man (so Colonel Woodman thought a little wire-pulling could determine Air Staff decisions, did he?) might have walked across the hall, laid the message before the CG/AAF and watched the roof blow off. Even a mildly annoyed man might have supplied Fort Worth with an information copy and left Woody to explain. Instead Woody got a personal reply at Sellers Field. He was peremptorily ordered to make available at once one of the first ten subject articles delivered to him. He was curtly reminded that direct communication between Headquarters Sellers Field and Headquarters Army Air Forces was under no repeat no circumstances authorized.

Of course, Colonel Woodman had done irreparable damage to any remaining chances he might have had for advancement, or an important command. Still, there was such a thing as the good of the service; and Woody, making it certain that he had no future, might be promoting that.“

cozzens 

James Gould Cozzens (19 augustus 1903 – 9 augustus 1978)
Boekomslag

 

De Engels toneelschrijver, dichter en criticus John Dryden werd geboren op 19 augustus 1631. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Song From An Evening’s Love

After the pangs of a desperate lover,
When day and night I have sighed all in vain,
Ah, what a pleasure it is to discover
In her eyes pity, who causes my pain!

When with unkindness our love at a stand is,
And both have punished ourselves with the pain,
Ah, what a pleasure the touch of her hand is!
Ah, what a pleasure to touch it again!

When the denial comes fainter and fainter,
And her eyes give what her tongue does deny,
Ah, what a trembling I feel when I venture!
Ah, what a trembling does usher my joy!

When, with a sigh, she accords me the blessing,
And her eyes twinkle ‘twixt pleasure and pain,
Ah, what a joy ‘tis beyond all expressing!
Ah, what a joy to hear ‘Shall we again!’

dryden

 John Dryden (19 augustus 1631 – 12 mei 1700)

De Britse schrijver en drukker Samuel Richardson werd geboren op 19 augustus 1689 in Mackworth, Derbyshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Uit: Clarissa, or the history of a young lady

„Surely, I may say so; since all duties are reciprocal. But for Mrs. Greme,poor .woman! when my lord has the gout, and is at the Lawn, and the chaplain not to be found, she prays by him, or reads a chapter to him in the Bible, or some other good book. Was it not therefore right, to introduce such a good sort of woman to the dear creature; and to leave them, without reserve, to their own talk! And very busy in talk I saw they were, as they rode; und /ell it too; for most charmingly glowed my cheeks. I hope I shall be honest, I once more say: but as we frail mortals are not our own masters at all times, I must endeavour to keep the dear creature unapprehensive, until I can get her to our acquaintance’s in London, or to some other safe place there. Should I, in the interim, give her the least room for suspicion ; or offer to restrain her; she can make her appeals to strangers, and call the country in upon me; and, perhaps, throw’herself upon her relations on their own terms. And were I now to lose her, how unworthy should I be to be the prince and leader of such a confraternity as ours! How unable to look up among men! or to shew my face among women! As things at present stand, she dare not own, that she went off against her own consent; and I have taken care to make all the Implacables believe, that she escaped with it. She has received an answer from Miss Howe, to the letter written to her from St. Alban’s. Vol. II. Letter xlvU. VOL. HI. G Whatever are the contents, I know not; but she was drowned in tears at theperusal of it.“

 richardson

Samuel Richardson (19 augustus 1689 – 4 juli 1761)
Portret door Mason Chamberlin

 

De Canadese schrijver en dichter Claude Gauvreau werd geboren op 19 augustus 1925 in Montreal. Zie en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2009.

Uit: Autobiographie

 „Je suis né à Montréal le 19 août 1925. J’ai fait mes études primaires au Jardin de l’Enfance, rue Saint-Denis, près de Roy.
Ces années-là, nous passions l’été à Sabrevois dans le comté de Missisquoi. Une poétesse amie de ma mère, Thérèse Bouthillier, nous initia au théâtre, mon frère Pierre et moi. À neuf ans, stimulé par l’influence de Thérèse Bouthillier, j’écrivis ma première pièce de théâtre; Thérèse lui trouva un titre: L’humour américain.
Je devins ensuite élève du collège Sainte-Marie; mais, la situation financière étant alors très difficile à la maison, ces débuts d’études classiques furent chaotiques on ne peut plus. Faute d’argent, je dus manquer une année entière de cours; et , par la suite, en syntaxe, je fus mis à la porte pour avoir composé des dessins et des histoires grivoises destinés à l’amusement de quelques camarades. Je devins alors athée, temporairement.
Je suivis alors les cours privés de Hermas Bastien. Ma méthode, je l’étudiai tout seul. L’année suivante, les jésuites acceptèrent de me reprendre en versification.
Paul Claudel eut sur moi une influence prédominante pendant quelques années et je redevins croyant pour un temps. À quinze ans, je décidai de devenir écrivain pour la vie. J’écrivis alors des poèmes et quelques courtes pièces de théâtre.
Mon frère Pierre devint élève de l’École des Beaux-arts et, par lui, je découvris l’art moderne.
J’allais bientôt faire la connaissance de Borduas.“

Gauvreau

Claude Gauvreau (19 augustus 1925 – 7 juli 1971)

 

De Spaanse dichter Iñigo López de Mendoza werd geboren op 19 augustus 1398 in Carrión de los Condes, Palencia. Zie ook ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 200

Bésame y abrázame,
marido mío,
y daros hé en la mañana
camisón limpio.

Yo nunca vi hombre
vivo estar tan muerto,
ni hacer el dormido
estando despierto.
Andad, marido, alerta,
y tened brío,
y daros hé en la mañana
camisón limpio.

mendoza 

Iñigo López de Mendoza (19 augustus 1398 – 25 maart 1458)
Potret door Jorge Inglés

Jonathan Coe, Li-Young Lee, Ogden Nash, Frank McCourt, James Gould Cozzens

De Engelse schrijver Jonathan Coe werd geboren op 19 augustus 1961 in Birmingham.

Uit: The Closed Circle

 

Sister Dearest, The view from up here is amazing, but it’s too cold to write very much. My fingers can barely hold the pen. But I promised myself I’d start this letter before returning to England, and this really is my last chance. Last thoughts, then, on leaving the European mainland? On coming home? I’m scouring the horizon and looking for omens. Calm sea, clear blue sky. Surely that has to count for something. People come up here to kill themselves, apparently. In fact there’s a boy further down the path, standing dangerously close to the edge, who looks as though he may be planning to do exactly that. He’s been standing there for as long as I’ve been on this bench and he’s only wearing a T-shirt and jeans. Must be freezing. Well, at least I haven’t got to that point yet; although there have been some bad moments, these last few weeks. Moments when it seemed like I’d lost my bearings completely, that it was all spinning out of control. You must have known that feeling, once. In fact I know you did. Anyway, it’s over now. Onwards and upwards. Beneath me I can see Etretat, the wide curve of its beach, the pinnacled rooftops of the chateau where I stayed last night. I never did manage to explore the town. Funny how, when you have the freedom to do anything you want, you end up doing so little. Infinite choice seems to translate into no choice at all. I could have headed out for sole dieppoise and ended up being plied with free Calvados by a flirty waiter; instead I stayed inside and watched some old Gene Hackman movie dubbed into French.
I wonder how they manage to make a profit from this line, at this time of year? Apart from me and the man behind the counter–what should I call him, is he the steward or purser or something?–this place is deserted. It’s dark outside now and there is rain flecking the windows. Perhaps it’s just spray. Makes me want to shiver looking at it, even though it’s warm inside, almost overheated. I’m writing this letter in the little A5 notebook I bought in Venice.”

 

Jonathan_Coe

Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 19 augustus 1961)

 

De Amerikaanse dichter Li-Young Lee werd geboren op 19 augustus 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesië.

 

 

A Story 

 

Sad is the man who is asked for a story

and can’t come up with one.

 

His five-year-old son waits in his lap.

Not the same story, Baba. A new one.

The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.

 

In a room full of books in a world

of stories, he can recall

not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy

will give up on his father.

 

Already the man lives far ahead, he sees

the day this boy will go. Don’t go!

Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!

You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.

Let me tell it!

 

But the boy is packing his shirts,

he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,

the man screams, that I sit mute before you?

Am I a god that I should never disappoint?

 

But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?

It is an emotional rather than logical equation,

an earthly rather than heavenly one,

which posits that a boy’s supplications

and a father’s love add up to silence,

 

 

 

From Blossoms 

 

From blossoms comes

this brown paper bag of peaches

we bought from the joy

at the bend in the road where we turned toward

signs painted Peaches.

 

From laden boughs, from hands,

from sweet fellowship in the bins,

comes nectar at the roadside, succulent

peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,

comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

 

O, to take what we love inside,

to carry within us an orchard, to eat

not only the skin, but the shade,

not only the sugar, but the days, to hold

the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into

the round jubilance of peach.

 

There are days we live

as if death were nowhere

in the background; from joy

to joy to joy, from wing to wing,

from blossom to blossom to

impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Li-Young_Lee

Li-Young Lee (Jakarta, 19 augustus 1957)

 

 De Amerikaanse dichter Frederic Ogden Nash werd geboren in Rye, New York, op 19 augustus 1902. 

 

No Doctor’s Today, Thank You 

 

They tell me that euphoria is the feeling of feeling wonderful,

well, today I feel euphorian,

Today I have the agility of a Greek god and the appetitite of a

Victorian.

Yes, today I may even go forth without my galoshes,

Today I am a swashbuckler, would anybody like me to buckle

any swashes?

This is my euphorian day,

I will ring welkins and before anybody answers I will run away.

I will tame me a caribou

And bedeck it with marabou.

I will pen me my memoirs.

Ah youth, youth! What euphorian days them was!

I wasn’t much of a hand for the boudoirs,

I was generally to be found where the food was.

Does anybody want any flotsam?

I’ve gotsam.

Does anybody want any jetsam?

I can getsam.

I can play chopsticks on the Wurlitzer,

I can speak Portuguese like a Berlitzer.

I can don or doff my shoes without tying or untying the laces because

I am wearing moccasins,

And I practically know the difference between serums and antitoccasins.

Kind people, don’t think me purse-proud, don’t set me down as

vainglorious,

I’m just a little euphorious.

 

Nash

Ogden Nash (19 augustus 1902 – 19 mei 1971)

 

De Iers-Amerikaanse schrijver Frank McCourt werd geboren op 19 augustus 1930 in New York. Frank McCourt overleed op 19 juli van dit jaar. Zie ook mijn In Memoriam van 19 juli 2009.

 

Uit: Tis

When the MS Irish Oak sailed from Cork in October 1949, we expected tobe in New York City in a week. Instead, after two days at sea, we were told wewere going to Montreal in Canada. I told the first officer all I had was fortydollars and would Irish Shipping pay my train fare from Montreal to New York. Hesaid, No, the company wasn’t responsible. He said freighters are the whores ofthe high seas, they’ll do anything for anyone. You could say a freighter is likeMurphy’s oul’ dog, he’ll go part of the road with any wanderer.Two days later Irish Shipping changed its mind and gave us the happy news,Sail for New York City, but two days after that the captain was told, Sail forAlbany.The first officer told me Albany was a city far up the Hudson River, capitalof New York State. He said Albany had all the charm of Limerick, ha ha ha, agreat place to die but not a place where you’d want to get married or rearchildren. He was from Dublin and knew I was from Limerick and when he sneered atLimerick I didn’t know what to do. I’d like to destroy him with a smart remarkbut then I’d look at myself in the mirror, pimply face, sore eyes, and bad teethand know I could never stand up to anyone, especially a first officer with auniform and a promising future as master of his own ship. Then I’d say tomyself, Why should I care what anyone says about Limerick anyway? All I hadthere was misery.Then the peculiar thing would happen. I’d sit on a deck chair in the lovelyOctober sun with the gorgeous blue Atlantic all around me and try to imaginewhat New York would be like. I’d try to see Fifth Avenue or Central Park orGreenwich Village where everyone looked like movie stars, powerful tans,gleaming white teeth. But Limerick would push me into the past. Instead of mesauntering up Fifth Avenue with the tan, the teeth, I’d be back in the lanes ofLimerick, women standing at doors chatting away and pulling their shawls aroundtheir shoulders, children with faces dirty from bread and jam, playing andlaughing and crying to their mothers.“

 

McCourt

Frank McCourt (19 augustus 1930 – 19 juli 2009)

 

 

Zie voor de twee bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 20006.

De Amerikaanse schrijver James Gould Cozzens werd geboren op 19 augustus 1903 in Chicago.

 

Uit: Guard of Honor

 

„What Woody did was compose and immediately fire off a TWX message to the Chief of Air Staff. Naturally, he had known and flown with this officer back in his comical bastard days. Woody now said that every AT-7 he had or could lay his hands on was absolutely indispensable to the Sellers Field program. Giving one to General Beal was quite out of the question. He made an oblique but unmistakable reference to those fancies of his about his superiors at Fort Worth. He made another, incoherent but no doubt intelligible enough, to the duplication of effort, waste, and working
at cross-purposes bound to result when exempt organizations under the Chief of Air Staff, like AFORAD, supposed to do God Knows What, were given the inside track on everything.

At the Headquarters of the Army Air Forces the second summer of the war was a nervous time. They still put up those signs about doing the difficult at once and requiring only a little longer to do the impossible. Nearly every day they were forced to make momentous decisions. On their minds they had thousands of planes and hundreds of thousands of men and billions of dollars. Their gigantic machine, which, as they kept saying, had to run while it was being built, gave them frightening moments and bad thoughts to lie awake at night with.

Now, then, toward the end of the usual exhausting day, came a long and stupid message which, if it were going anywhere, should have gone to Fort Worth. It fretted them about one training plane. It lectured them on what was indispensable to Sellers Field (the AAF had so many fields that you could not find one man who knew all the names). It informed them that the Training Command was not run properly and that the project at Ocanara was a poort idea.“

 

Cozzens

James Gould Cozzens (19 augustus 1903 – 9 augustus 1978)

 

Zie voor alle bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2008.

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

 

In Memoriam Frank McCourt

In Memoriam Frank McCourt

De Iers-Amerikaanse schrijver Frank McCourt is zondag op 78-jarige leeftijd overleden in zijn woonplaats New York. Hij stierf aan huidkanker. McCourt is vooral bekend geworden door zijn eerste boek, de bestseller Angela’s Ashes (1996) dat in Nederland verschenen is onder de titel De as van mijn moeder. Frank McCourt werd geboren op 19 augustus 1930 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van19 augustus 2008.

Uit: Angela’s Ashes

“We ran to the church. My mother panted along behind with Michael in her arms. We arrived at the church just in time to see the last of the boys leaving the altar rail where the priest stood with the chalice and the host, glaring at me. Then he placed on my tongue the wafer, the body and blood of Jesus. At last, at last.

It’s on my tongue. I draw it back.
It stuck.
I had God glued to the roof of my mouth. I could hear the master’s voice, Don’t let that host touch your teeth for if you bite God in two you’ll roast in hell for eternity. I tried to get God down with my tongue but the priest hissed at me, Stop that clucking and get back to your seat. God was good. He melted and I swallowed Him and now, at last, I was a member of the True Church, an official sinner.

When the Mass ended there they were at the door of the church, my mother with Michael in her arms, my grandmother. They each hugged me to their bosoms. They each told me it was the happiest day of my life. They each cried all over my head and after my grandmother’s contribution that morning my head was a swamp.”

McCourt
Frank McCourt (19 augustus 1930 – 19 juli 2009)

 

Jonathan Coe, Frederik Lucien De Laere, Ogden Nash, Li-Young Lee, Frank McCourt, James Gould Cozzens, Louis Th. Lehmann, Inigo de Mendoza

De Engelse schrijver Jonathan Coe werd geboren op 19 augustus 1961 in Birmingham. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007.

 

Uit: The Rotters Club

           

Thursday, March 7th, 1974 was an important day, a memorable day. It was the day Philip made his first foray into journalism, and it was the day Benjamin found God. Two events which were to have far-reaching consequences.

It was also the day on which Benjamin’s worst nightmare seemed about to come true.

For many days now, Philip had been hard at work on an article which he hoped to see published in the school newspaper. The Bill Board appeared once a week, on Thursday mornings, and he was one of its most avid readers. The title betrayed its humble origins as a loose collection of typewritten essays and notices which used to be posted on a bulletin board in one of the upper corridors; but this had proved an inconvenient format, in most respects, and the previous year an enterprising young English master called Mr. Serkis had overseen its transition into print. The paper now extended to eight stapled sheets of A4, put together on Tuesdays by a cartel of sixth-formers in the glamorous secrecy of an office tucked away in the rafters above The Carlton Club. It was rare, very rare, for someone as young as Philip to have anything accepted by this uncompromising crew; but today, somehow, he had managed it.

Shortly before nine o’clock that morning he was to be found sitting in the school library, reading his article for the twelfth time through eyes misty with pride and excitement. The front page of the paper contained a long editorial penned by Burrell, of the upper-sixth, lamenting the indecisive outcome of last week’s general election, and the reappointment of Harold Wilson as Prime Minister. Philip couldn’t possibly aspire to writing such a piece, at this stage; the front half of the paper would remain unreachable, beyond imagination. But at least his review came before the sports results, and Gilligan’s cartoons. And how comfortably it nestled on the page, between Hilary Turner’s magisterial discussion of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which had just opened at the Birmingham Rep, and a few lines of appreciation—penned by Mr. Fletcher himself—about the poet Francis Piper, in advance of his keenly anticipated visit to King William’s (a visit scheduled for that very morning, Philip almost-registered in his trancelike state). To see his own efforts slotted in between the work of these senior practitioners was more than he would have dared hope for.“

 

 

Coe

Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 19 augustus 1961)

 

De Vlaamse dichter Frederik Lucien De Laere werd geboren in Brugge op 19 augustus 1971. Hij publiceerde de dichtbundels ‘Paniek in het circus’ en ‘De martelgang’ bij uitgeverij PoëzieCentrum. Werk van hem verscheen in verschillende literaire tijdschriften (o.a. De Brakke Hond, Deus ex Machina, Poëziekrant) en enkele bloemlezingen, waaronder Hotel New Flandres, de Dikke Komrij, en de Vette Breukers. De Laere staat met zijn poëzie regelmatig op het podium en is stichtend lid van de dichtersgroep Het Venijnig Gebroed. Hij was te gast op o.m. Versmacht in de Nacht, The
ater aan Zee, Lowlands-festival, Dichter aan huis, Poetry International en Crossing Border. In 2007 en 2008 was hij stadsdichter van Damme. Momenteel is hij werkzaam als leraar geschiedenis en aardrijkskunde.

 

 

De ventilator 

 

Zij zit met haar snoer
in de muur van het onderaardse
en zet met haar staart
het vuur om
in wind
waardoor zij in mijn kamer
een koel heelal creëert. 

 

Zij is mijn verloofde.
Zij is de elektrische bloem
die haar schoonheid over mij waait
en mij toedekt met een nachtbries. 

 

Wanneer zij mij ’s anderendaags wekt
sta ik op, verfrist,
uit de kist
waarin toevallig ook mijn dood huist.

 

frederikluciendelaere

Frederik Lucien De Laere (Brugge, 19 augustus 1971)

 

 

De Amerikaanse dichter Frederic Ogden Nash werd geboren in Rye, New York, op 19 augustus 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 mei en mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007.

 

A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda’s sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What’s a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then–
How old is Spring, Miranda?

 

 

A Word to Husbands

 

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

 

 

Nash

Ogden Nash (19 augustus 1902 – 19 mei 1971)

 

 

De Amerikaanse dichter Li-Young Lee werd geboren op 19 augustus 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesië. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007.

 

 

Immigrant Blues

People have been trying to kill me since I was born,
a man tells his son, trying to explain
the wisdom of learning a second tongue.

It’s the same old story from the previous century
about my father and me.

The same old story from yesterday morning
about me and my son.

It’s called “Survival Strategies
and the Melancholy of Racial Assimilation.”

It’s called “Psychological Paradigms of Displaced Persons,”

called “The Child Who’d Rather Play than Study.”

Practice until you feel
the language inside you, says the man.

But what does he know about inside and outside,
my father who was spared nothing
in spite of the languages he used?

And me, confused about the flesh and soul,
who asked once into a telephone,
Am I inside you?

You’re always inside me, a woman answered,
at peace with the body’s finitude,
at peace with the soul’s disregard
of space and time.

Am I inside you? I asked once
lying between her legs, confused
about the body and the heart.

If you don’t believe you’re inside me, you’re not,
she answered, at peace with the body’s greed,
at peace with the heart’s bewilderment.

It’s an ancient story from yesterday evening

called “Patterns of Love in Peoples of Diaspora,”

called “Loss of the Homeplace
and the Defilement of the Beloved,”

called “I Want to Sing but I Don’t Know Any Songs.”

 

The Hour and What Is Dead

Tonight my brother, in heavy boots, is walking

through bare rooms over my head,

opening and closing doors.

What could he be looking for in an empty house?

What could he possibly need there in heaven?

Does he remember his earth, his birthplace set to torches?

His love for me feels like spilled water

running back to its vessel.


At this hour, what is dead is restless

and what is living is burning.


Someone tell him he should sleep now.


My father keeps a light on by our bed

and readies for our journey.

He mends ten holes in the knees

of five pairs of boy’s pants.

His love for me is like sewing:

various colors and too much thread,

the stitching uneven. But the needle pierces

clean through with each stroke of his hand.


At this hour, what is dead is worried

and what is living is fugitive.

 

Someone tell him he should sleep now.


God, that old furnace, keeps talking

with his mouth of teeth,

a beard stained at feasts, and his breath

of gasoline, airplane, human ash.

His love for me feels like fire,

feels like doves, feels like river-water.

 

At this hour, what is dead is helpless, kind

and helpless. While the Lord lives.


Someone tell the Lord to leave me alone.

I’ve had enough of his love

that feels like burning and flig
ht and running away.

 

 

lee4

Li-Young Lee (Jakarta, 19 augustus 1957)

 

De Iers-Amerikaanse schrijver Frank McCourt werd geboren op 19 augustus 1930 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007  en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006 .

 

Uit: Teacher Man

 

If I knew anything about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis I’d be able to trace all my troubles to my miserable childhood in Ireland. That miserable childhood deprived me of self-esteem, triggered spasms of self pity, paralyzed my emotions, made me cranky, envious and disrespectful of authority, retarded my development, crippled my doings with the opposite sex, kept me from rising in the world and made me unfit, almost, for human society. How I became a teacher at all and remained one is a miracle and I have to give myself full marks for surviving all those years in the classrooms of New York. There should be a medal for people who survive miserable childhoods and become teachers, and I should be first in line for the medal and whatever bars might be appended for ensuing miseries.

I could lay blame. The miserable childhood doesn’t simply happen. It is brought about. There are dark forces. If I am to lay blame it is in a spirit of forgiveness. Therefore, I forgive the following: Pope Pius XII; the English in general and King George VI in particular; Cardinal MacRory, who ruled Ireland when I was a child; the bishop of Limerick, who seemed to think everything was sinful; Eamonn De Valera, former prime minister (Taoiseach) and president of Ireland. Mr. De Valera was a half-Spanish Gaelic fanatic (Spanish onion in an Irish stew) who directed teachers all over Ireland to beat the native tongue into us and natural curiosity out of us. He caused us hours of misery. He was aloof and indifferent to the black and blue welts raised by schoolmaster sticks on various parts of our young bodies. I forgive, also, the priest who drove me from the confessional when I admitted to sins of self-abuse and self-pollution and penny thieveries from my mother’s purse. He said I did not show a proper spirit of repentance, especially in the matter of the flesh. And even though he had hit that nail right on the head, his refusal to grant me absolution put my soul in such peril that if I had been flattened by a truck outside the church he would have been responsible for my eternal damnation. I forgive various bullying schoolmasters for pulling me out of my seat by the sideburns, for walloping me regularly with stick, strap and cane when I stumbled over answers in the catechism or when in my head I couldn’t divide 937 by 739. I was told by my parents and other adults it was all for my own good. I forgive them for those whopping hypocrisies and wonder where they are at this moment. Heaven? Hell? Purgatory (if it still exists)?”

frank_mccourt

Frank McCourt (New York, 19 augustus 1930)

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver James Gould Cozzens werd geboren op 19 augustus 1903 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007.

 

Uit: Guard of Honor

 

Colonel Ross did not have the facts on whatever other troubles Colonel Woodman had or thought he had; but he knew all about this episode of the AT-7–perhaps more than Woody thought. It was really all you needed to know. A routine order had gone from Washington to Fort Worth and from Fort Worth to Sellers Field; give an AT-7 to General Beal. Understandably, Colonel Woodman didn’t like giving away planes; but anyone not obsessed with a persecution complex need only look at a map to figure it out. The finger was put on Sellers Field because it was the point nearest Ocanara to which AT-7’s were then being delivered. Moreover, Sellers Field, as Woody so loudly protested, was not scheduled to be, and was not, ready to use all its planes. Still, standard operating procedure would be to query the order. Fort Worth grasped, at least as well as Colonel Woodman did, that basic principle of military management: always have on hand more of everything than you can ever conceivably need. If Colonel Woodman in the normal way queried Fort Worth, Fort Worth could be counted on to query Washington.”

 

Cozzens

James Gould Cozzens (19 augustus 1903 – 9 augustus 1978)

 

De Nederlandse schrijver, dichter en vertaler Louis Th. Lehmann, werd geboren op 19 augustus 1920 in Rotterdam. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007.

 

 

Denford Mill House

The next lock will not see the writing

the waterhen, tripping in flight

imprints upon the rushing river’s schoulders.

A water mill is not a home,

the stream passes through

like time through me.

 

 

 I

 

De kleine bomen, helder in de heggen

sturen hun takken doelbewust

en sierlijker dan armen of ook vingers

door het misleidend spel der bladeren.

Zij dwingen ons met redelijke tekentaal

het wijde land rondom hen te vergeten.

 

 

II

 

In deze stad is het alleen de wind die leeft

want er zijn teveel dingen zonder vorm,

en zelfs wanneer jij bij me bent,

voelen wij nog het huis dat voor

de slagen van de wind

wankelt als een moede bokser.

 

lehmann

Louis Th. Lehmann (Rotterdam, 19 augustus 1920)

 

Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 19 augustus 2007.

 

De Spaanse dichter Iñigo López de Mendoza werd geboren op 19 augustus 1398 in Carrión de los Condes, Palencia.