Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rosario Castellanos, Alain Grandbois, Naim Frashëri, Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,
And marching single in an endless file,
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
To each they offer gifts after his will,
Bread, kingdom, stars, and sky that holds them all.
I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,
Forgot my morning wishes, hastily
Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day
Turned and departed silent. I, too late,
Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.
A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes;
The lover rooted stays.
I fancied he was fled,-
And, after many a year,
Glowed unexhausted kindliness,
Like daily sunrise there.
My careful heart was free again,
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red;
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
The mill-round of our fate appears
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness had taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (25 mei 1803 - 27 april 1882)
Portret door Arthur Wardle, z.j.
Meditation at the Threshold
No, the solution is not
to jump beneath a train, like Tolstoy’s Anna,
nor to swallow Madame Bovar’s arsenic,
nor to wait on the barren plains of Avila
for the visit of the angel with the javelin
before tying the scarf around one’s head
and beginning to act.
Nor to deduce the laws of geometry by counting
the rafters of the castigation cell,
as Sor Juana did. The solution is not
to write, when visitors come
to the living room of the Austen family,
nor to shut oneself up in the attic
of some house in New England
and dream, with the Dickinson Bible
under a maidenly pillow.
There has to be some other way that isn’t called Sappho,
or Messalina, or Mary of Egypt,
or Magdalene, or Clementina Isaura.
Another way to be human, and free.
Another way to be.
Vertaald door Kate Flores
Rosario Castellanos (25 mei 1925 – 7 augustus 1974)
Avec ta robe…
Avec ta robe sur le rocher comme une aile blanche
Des gouttes au creux de ta main comme une blessure fraîche
Et toi riant la tête renversée comme un enfant seul
Avec tes pieds faibles et nus sur la dure force du rocher
Et tes bras qui t’entourent d’éclairs nonchalants
Et ton genou rond comme l’Île de mon enfance
Avec tes jeunes seins qu’un chant muet soulève pour une vaine allégresse
Et les courbes de ton corps plongeant toutes vers ton frêle secret.
Et ce pur mystère que ton sang guette pour des nuits futures
Ô toi pareille à un rêve déjà perdu
Ô toi pareille à une fiancée déjà morte
Ô toi mortel instant de l’éternel fleuve
Laisse-moi seulement fermer mes yeux
Laisse-moi seulement poser les paumes de mes mains sur mes paupières
Laisse-moi ne plus te voir
Pour ne pas voir dans l’épaisseur des ombres
Lentement s’entrouvrir et tourner
Les lourdes portes de l’oubli
Alain Grandbois (25 mei 1900 – 18 maart 1975)
The Words of the Candle (Fragment)
Here among you have I risen,
And aflame am I now blazing,
Just a bit of light to give you,
That I change your night to daytime,
I'll combust and I will wither,
Be consumed and be extinguished,
Just to give you brightness, vision,
That you notice one another,
For you will I fade and tarnish,
Of me there will be no remnant,
I will burn, in tears lamenting,
My desire I cannot suffer.
Of the fire I am not fearful,
I will never be extinguished
If I burn of my desire,
Try to shine as best I'm able.
When you see that I have vanished,
Do not think that I have perished,
I'm alive, among the living,
In the rays of truth I'm standing,
In your souls do I take refuge,
Do not think I'm stranger to you,
Patience was bestowed upon me,
Thus I glow with steadfast courage,
Doing good is all I long for,
That you not remain in darkness.
Forward now and gather 'round me
Talk, smile, eat, drink and make merry,
Love within my soul is harboured,
Yes, for mankind am I burning,
Let me melt and let me smoulder,
To grow cold I do not wish for.
Naim Frashëri (25 mei 1846 – 20 oktober 1900)
Uit: The Last Days of Pompeii
'HO, Diomed, well met! Do you sup with Glaucus to-night?' said a young man of small stature, who wore his tunic in those loose and effeminate folds which proved him to be a gentleman and a coxcomb.
'Alas, no! dear Clodius; he has not invited me,' replied Diomed, a man of portly frame and of middle age. 'By Pollux, a scurvy trick! for they say his suppers are the best in Pompeii'.
'Pretty well—though there is never enough of wine for me. It is not the old Greek blood that flows in his veins, for he pretends that wine makes him dull the next morning.'
'There may be another reason for that thrift,' said Diomed, raising his brows. 'With all his conceit and extravagance he is not so rich, I fancy, as he affects to be, and perhaps loves to save his amphorae better than his wit.'
'An additional reason for supping with him while the sesterces last. Next year, Diomed, we must find another Glaucus.'
'He is fond of the dice, too, I hear.'
'He is fond of every pleasure; and while he likes the pleasure of giving suppers, we are all fond of him.'
'Ha, ha, Clodius, that is well said! Have you ever seen my wine-cellars, by-the-by?'
'I think not, my good Diomed.'
'Well, you must sup with me some evening; I have tolerable muraenae in my reservoir, and I ask Pansa the aedile to meet you.'
'O, no state with me!—Persicos odi apparatus, I am easily contented. Well, the day wanes; I am for the baths—and you...'
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (25 mei 1803 - 18 januari 1873)