Dolce far niente
Laat augustus licht door Tom Chistopher, z.j.
Na de zomer
De kreukels van het loof,
Met flinterdunne nerven
Dat zijn bladeren ontvouwt
En neer laat dalen
Tot geel geschuifel.
Het lila van de herfst
Op bleke stelen
Zakt rottend weg
Het besef: Wij waren
Er even bij –
Die geen echo achterlaat.
Van zonlicht op de stammen,
Tussen de kruinen.
De dode damp stijgt op
De eenvoud van de
We sluiten de deur,
En verdwijnen geruisloos.
Wat is sterven toch mooi
Als het grind zijn tol betaalt –
De bevrijdende schreeuw
Jan Wolkers (26 oktober 1925 – 19 oktober 2007)
Prentbriefkaart uit 1903 met het Groene Kerkje in Oegstgeest, de geboorteplaats van Jan Wolkers. In 1954 werd de klimop verwijderd voor een grote restauratie.
His father carved umbrella handles
His father carved umbrella handles, but when umbrella
handles were made by machinery, there was only one
man for whom his father could work.
The pay was small, though it had once been a good trade.
They lived in the poorest part of the ghetto, near the lots
where people dump ashes.
His father was anxious that his son should stay at school and
get out of the mess he himself was in. “Learning is the
best merchandise,” he would say.
His father died; there was his mother to be taken care of. He
taught in a school in the ghetto.
Some pupils came at nine and stayed until three; others came
after public school and stayed until evening; most of the
pupils came in the evening.
The courses were crammed, lasting a few months, pupils and
teachers anxious to be rid of the matter as soon as
So he worked day and night, week-days and Sunday.
His mother was dead. It was cold in the street and windy. A
dry snow had fallen and the feet of the walkers were
turning it into brown sand.
He was forty.
Now he was free. To do what? He knew no one whom he
cared to marry. And who would go into his poverty?
If he were to give up this work he knew so well, to what else
could he turn?
He would just keep on. He had lost this world and knew there
was no other.
A Group Of Verse
All day the pavement has been black
With rain, but in our warm brightly-lit
Room, praise God, I kept saying to myself,
And saying not a word,
Amen, you answered.
From my window I could not see the moon,
And yet it was shining:
The yard among the houses—
Snow upon it—
An oblong in the darkness.
Among the heaps of brick and plaster lies
A girder, itself among the rubbish.
Rooted among roofs, their smoke among the clouds,
Factory chimneys—our cedars of Lebanon.
What are you doing in our street among the automobiles,
Charles Reznikoff (30 augustus 1894 – 22 januari 1976)
La vraie gloire est ici
La vraie gloire est ici,
Nous passons à c8té.
Quelques jades croqués,
Et maints lotus mâchés,
Au travers des ténèbres
Un jour nous périrons !
La vraie voie est ici,
Nous passons à c8té.
Mousse ou limon mâché,
Lave ou glace croquée,
Mourant de nostalgie,
Périrons-nous un jour ?
La vraie vie dès ici,
Par ici nous passons.
Nous aurons toujours soif,
Et toujours aurons faim,
Au travers des ténèbres,
Jamais ne périrons.
Ici la gloire ? Oui, c’est ici
Quc, damnés, nous avons appris
À nous sauver par le chant —Aron
Qui nous conduit au vrai royaume.
À la source du Long Fleuve
tendre filet d’eau,
Voici que le fleuve retourne à sa source,
Que nous terminons notre grand périple.
Tant de jours à longer le fleuve millénaire,
Toujours à contre-courant, à contretemps,
À sillonner l’aride haut plateau,
Creusé de ravins, menacé de vautours,
À traquer chairs crues et fruits sauvages,
À dormir à marne les herbes virginales,
À traverser le lac aux étoiles, poussant plus loin
Nos corps tatoués de gelures, de brûlures,
Minuscule caravane à bout d’endurance,
En ce point de l’ultime rendez-vous,
Où toute fin est commencement.
Austères glaciers, Tendre filet d’eau…
François Cheng (Nanchang, 30 augustus 1929)
“Yet do not suppose, because I complain a little or because I can conceive a consolation for my toils which I may never know, that I am wavering in my resolutions. Those are as fixed as fate, and my voyage is only now delayed until the weather shall permit my embarkation. The winter has been dreadfully severe, but the spring promises well, and it is considered as a remarkably early season, so that perhaps I may sail sooner than I expected. I shall do nothing rashly: you know me sufficiently to confide in my prudence and considerateness whenever the safety of others is committed to my care.
I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart. I am going to unexplored regions, to “the land of mist and snow,” but I shall kill no albatross; therefore do not be alarmed for my safety or if I should come back to you as worn and woeful as the “Ancient Mariner.” You will smile at my allusion, but I will disclose a secret. I have often attributed my attachment to, my passionate enthusiasm for, the dangerous mysteries of ocean to that production of the most imaginative of modern poets. There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious–painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour–but besides this there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore.
But to return to dearer considerations. Shall I meet you again, after having traversed immense seas, and returned by the most southern cape of Africa or America? I dare not expect such success, yet I cannot bear to look on the reverse of the picture. Continue for the present to write to me by every opportunity: I may receive your letters on some occasions when I need them most to support my spirits. I love you very tenderly. Remember me with affection, should you never hear from me again.
Your affectionate brother, Robert Walton »
Mary Shelley (30 augustus 1797 – 1 februari 1851)
Poster voor de gelijknamige film met Boris Karloff uit 1931