Cynan Jones, John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, James T. Farrell, Irwin Shaw


De Welshe schrijver Cynan Jones werd geboren op 27 februari 1975 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Zie ook alle tags voor Cynan Jones op dit blog.

Uit: The Dig

“The policeman opened the door, looked at the deep mud of the yard, and got deliberately out.
Set back from the window, the man watched him through the gap in the curtains. He watched him scan the place. The policeman was young and he was not a policeman the big man had seen before.
The policeman bent through the car door and pushed the horn twice.
What do I do here? thought the man. He wished he’d left one of the big dogs off but knew even through the coal it would scent the badger and bother it. If I stay in the house, he’ll start looking round, thought the man. Ag.
The policeman had started to walk toward the house from the car and the big man came out.
Afternoon, sir. It’s clearing up, the policeman said. The policeman looked at the man and looked out as if at the weather over the valley.
The big man just nodded.
Few questions, really, sir. The policeman was light and inoffensive the way they are and the man moved to bring him away from the house.
Can you tell me what you were doing last night, or early this morning?
The big man didn’t reply.
The policeman looked around at the yard and privately noticed the two sets of tire tracks that were cut into the mud and that were not filled with overnight rain. He saw the old red van and guessed one set belonged to that. The policeman took in the many dumped engines and tires and the wastage of vehicles and machines about.
We’ve had a report of fly-tipping. He waited. I just wanted to ask whether you would know anything about that.
What did they tip? asked the man.
The policeman didn’t respond. He was looking at the junk and the big man saw and said, Does it look like I throw things away?”


Cynan Jones (Aberystwyth, 27 februari 1975)


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Dolce far niente, Henry Longfellow, Joseph Boyden, John Kea


Dolce far niente - Bij Halloween


The Haunted House door John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1874



Haunted Houses

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.


Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)
West End Halloween Parade in Portland, Maine. Lomfellow werd geboren in Portland.

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John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, James T. Farrell


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.

Uit: Cannery Row

“On the black earth on which the ice plants bloomed, hundreds of black stink bugs crawled. And many of them stuck their tails up in the air. "Look at all them stink bugs," Hazel remarked, grateful to the bugs for being there.
"They're interesting," said Doc.
"Well, what they got their asses up in the air for?"
Doc rolled up his wool socks and put them in the rubber boots and from his pocket he brought out dry socks and a pair of thin moccasins. "I don't know why," he said. "I looked them up recently--they're very common animals and one of the commonest things they do is put their tails up in the air. And in all the books there isn't one mention of the fact that they put their tails up in the air or why."
Hazel turned one of the stink bugs over with the toe of his wet tennis shoe and the shining black beetle strove madly with floundering legs to get upright again. "Well, why do you think they do it?"
"I think they're praying," said Doc.
"What!" Hazel was shocked.
"The remarkable thing," said Doc, "isn't that they put their tails up in the air--the really incredibly remarkable thing is that we find it remarkable. We can only use ourselves as yardsticks. If we did something as inexplicable and strange we'd probably be praying--so maybe they're praying."
"Let's get the hell out of here," said Hazel.”

“Hazel used his trick. "They got no starfish there?"
"They got no ocean there" said Doc.
"Oh!" said Hazel and he cast frantically about for a peg to hang a new question on. He hated to have a conversation die out like this. He wasn't quick enough. While he was looking for a question Doc asked one. Hazel hated that, it meant casting about in his mind for an answer and casting about in Hazel's mind was like wandering alone in a deserted museum. Hazel's mind was choked with uncataloged exhibits. ...”


John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)
Affiche voor de film “Cannary Row” uit 1982

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John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, James T. Farrell


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.

Uit: Travels with Charley

« The next passage in my journey is a love affair. I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it. Once, when I raptured in a violet glow given off by the Queen of the World, my father asked me why, and I thought he was crazy not to see. Of course I know now she was a mouse-haired, freckle-nosed, scabby-kneed little girl with a voice like a bat and the loving kindness of a gila monster, but then she lighted up the landscape and me. It seems to me that Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda. Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans. Here for the first time I heard a definite regional accent unaffected by TV-ese, a slow-paced warm speech. It seemed to me that the frantic bustle of America was not in Montana. Its people did not seem afraid of shadows in a John Birch Society sense. The calm of the mountains and the rolling grasslands had got into the inhabitants. It was hunting season when I drove through the state. The men I talked to seemed to me not moved to a riot of seasonal slaughter but simply to be going out to kill edible meat. Again my attitude may be informed by love, but it seemed to me that the towns were places to live in rather than nervous hives. People had time to pause in their occupations to undertake the passing art of neighborliness.
I found I did not rush through the towns to get them over with. I even found things I had to buy to make myself linger. In Billings I bought a hat, in Livingston a jacket, in Butte a rifle I didn’t particularly need, a Remington bolt-action .22, secondhand but in beautiful condition."


John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)
Hier met Charley

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John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, James T. Farrell


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.

Uit: Travels with Charley

“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

“Once Charley fell in love with a dachshund, a romance racially unsuitable, physically ridiculous, and mechanically impossible. But all these problems Charley ignored. He loved deeply and tried dogfully.”


John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)

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The Three Kings (Henry Longfellow)

Bij het feest van Driekoningen



De aanbidding van de Drie Koningen door Corregio, rond 1518



The Three Kings
Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they travelled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere,
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.

Three caskets they bore on their saddle-bows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys;
Their robes were of crimson silk with rows
Of bells and pomegranates and furbelows,
Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.

And so the Three Kings rode into the West,
Through the dusk of the night, over hill and dell,
And sometimes they nodded with beard on breast,
And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.

"Of the child that is born," said Baltasar,
"Good people, I pray you, tell us the news;
For we in the East have seen his star,
And have ridden fast, and have ridden far,
To find and worship the King of the Jews."

And the people answered, "You ask in vain;
We know of no King but Herod the Great!"
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain,
Like riders in haste, who cannot wait.

And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, "Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king."

So they rode away; and the star stood still,
The only one in the grey of morn;
Yes, it stopped --it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David, where Christ was born.

And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.

And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The child, that would be king one day
Of a kingdom not human, but divine.

His mother Mary of Nazareth
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.

They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body's burying.

And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone,
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the Angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David's throne.

Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.



Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)
Portland in Kersttijd. Henry Longfellow werd geboren in Portland.



Zie voor de schrijvers van de 6e januari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

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Christmas Bells (Henry Longfellow)

Aan alle bezoekers en mede-bloggers een Prettig Kerstfeest!



Les chanteurs de Noël door Gustave Brion, 1858



Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!



Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)
Portland. Henry Longfellow werd geboren in Portland.



Zie voor de schrijvers van de 26e december ook mijn vier vorige blogs van vandaag.

11:19 Gepost door Romenu in Literatuur | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: kerstmis, henry longfellow, romenu |  Facebook |


John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, James T. Farrell


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.


Uit: East of Eden


“The summer sun drove it underground. It was not a fine river at all, but it was the only one we had and so we boasted about it—how dangerous it was in a wet winter and how dry it was in a dry summer. You can boast about anything if it's all you have. Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.

The floor of the Salinas Valley, between the ranges and below the foothills, is level because this valley used to be the bottom of a hundred-mile inlet from the sea. The river mouth at Moss Landing was centuries ago the entrance to this long inland water. Once, fifty miles down the valley, my father bored a well. The drill came up first with topsoil and then with gravel and then with white sea sand full of shells and even pieces of whalebone. There were twenty feet of sand and then black earth again, and even a piece of redwood, that imperishable wood that does not rot. Before the inland sea the valley must have been a forest. And those things had happened right under our feet. And it seemed to me sometimes at night that I could feel both the sea and the redwood forest before it.



James Dean, Richard Davalos en Julie Harris in de film van Elias Kazan, 1955



On the wide level acres of the valley the topsoil lay deep and fertile. It required only a rich winter of rain to make it break forth in grass and flowers. The spring flowers in a wet year were unbelievable. The whole valley floor, and the foothills too, would be carpeted with lupins and poppies. Once a woman told me that colored flowers would seem more bright if you added a few white flowers to give the colors definition. Every petal of blue lupin is edged with white, so that a field of lupins is more blue than you can imagine. And mixed with these were splashes of California poppies. These too are of a burning color—not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies. When their season was over the yellow mustard came up and grew to a great height. When my grandfather came into the valley the mustard was so tall that a man on horseback showed only his head above the yellow flowers. On the uplands the grass would be strewn with buttercups, with hen-and-chickens, with black-centered yellow violets. And a little later in the season there would be red and yellow stands of Indian paintbrush. These were the flowers of the open places exposed to the sun.”



John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)


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John Steinbeck, André Roy, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.


Uit: Früchte des Zorns (Vertaald door Klaus Lambrecht)


„Über das rote Land und einen Teil des grauen Landes von Oklahoma fiel sanft der letzte Regen; aber er drang nicht in die rissige Erde ein. Die Pflüge kreuzten wieder und immer wieder die kleinen Furchen der Bäche. Der letzte Regen ließ das Korn und das Unkraut und das Gras am Rande der Straßen rasch wachsen, und bald begannen das graue Land und das dunkelrote Land unter einer grünen Decke zu verschwinden.

Am Ende des Monats Mai wurde der Himmel bleich, und die Wolken, die in dichten Ballen den ganzen Frühling über herabgehangen hatten, lösten sich auf. Die Sonne brannte hernieder auf das wachsende Korn, Tag für Tag, bis die grünen Speere an den Rändern braune Streifen bekamen.

Wolken tauchten auf und verschwanden wieder, und nach einer Weile kamen sie überhaupt nicht mehr. Das Unkraut wurde dunkelgrün, um sich zu schützen, aber es wucherte nicht mehr. Die Erde setzte eine Kruste an, eine dünne, harte Kruste, und wie der Himmel bleich wurde, so wurde auch die

Erde bleich — blaßrot das rote Land und weiß das graue Land. In den Wasserrinnen trocknete die Erde zu Staub, zu trokkenen kleinen Strömen. Goffer und Ameisenlöwen setzten kleine Lawinen in Bewegung. Und da die stechende Sonne Tag für Tag herniederbrannte, blieb das Korn nicht mehr steif und aufrecht. Erst beugte es sich nur ein wenig, und dann, als auch die starken Mittelrippen ihre Kraft verloren, neigten sich die Blätter ganz nach unten.

Dann kam der Juni, und die Sonne schien nun noch brennender. Die braunen Streifen an den Getreideblättern verbreiterten sich bis zu den Mittelrippen. Das Unkraut wurde welk und trocknete ein. Die Luft war dünn und der Himmel noch bleicher, und mit jedem Tag bleichte auch die Erde mehr.

Auf den Straßen, wo die Gespanne entlangzogen, wo die Räder den Boden zermahlten und die Hufe der Pferde den Boden zertraten, brach die Schmutzkruste, und Staub bildete sich. Jedes sich bewegende Ding hob den Staub in die Luft: bei einem Menschen hob er sich bis zu den Hüften, bei einem Wagen bis über die Plane, und ein Auto wirbelte eine mächtige Wolke hinter sich auf. Es dauerte lange, bis der Staub sich wieder gelegt hatte.



John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)

Portret door James Fitzgerald

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John Steinbeck, André Roy, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2010.


Uit: East of Eden


“The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer-and what trees and seasons smelled like-how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.

I remember that the Gabilan Mountains to the east of the valley were light gay mountains full of sun and loveliness and a kind of invitation, so that you wanted to climb into their warm foothills almost as you want to climb into the lap of a beloved mother. They were beckoning mountains with a brown grass love. The Santa Lucias stood up against the sky to the west and kept the valley from the open sea, and they were dark and brooding-unfriendly and dangerous. I always found in myself a dread of west and a love of east. Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that the morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias. It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.

From both sides of the valley little streams slipped out of the hill canyons and fell into the bed of the Salinas River. In the winter of wet years the streams ran full-freshet, and they swelled the river until sometimes it raged and boiled, bank full, and then it was a destroyer. The river tore the edges of the farm lands and washed whole acres down; it toppled barns and houses into itself, to go floating and bobbing away. It trapped cows and pigs and sheep and drowned them in its muddy brown water and carried them to the sea. Then when the late spring came, the river drew in from its edges and the sand banks appeared. And in the summer the river didn't run at all above ground. Some pools would be left in the deep swirl places under a high bank. The tules and grasses grew back, and willows straightened up with the flood debris in their upper branches. The Salinas was only a part-time river.”




John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)



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John Steinbeck, André Roy, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, Irwin Shaw

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009.


Uit: Of Mice and Men


“A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool. On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees—willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool. On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them. Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of ’coons, and with the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark.

There is a path through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungleup near water. In front of the low horizontal limb of a giant sycamore there is an ash pile made by many fires; the limb is worn smooth by men who have sat on it.

Evening of a hot day started the little wind to moving among the leaves. The shade climbed up the hills toward the top. On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones. And then from the direction of the state highway came the sound of footsteps on crisp sycamore leaves. The rabbits hurried noiselessly for cover. A stilted heron labored up into the air and pounded down river. For a moment the place was lifeless, and then two men emerged from the path and came into the opening by the green pool.”





John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)

Standbeeld in Monterey





De Canadese dichter, schrijver en essayist André Roy werd geboren op 27 februari 1944 in Montréal. Hij studeerde Frans en is werkzaam als docent en literair criticus. Het bekendst is zijn cyclus „Passions“, bestaande uit Les passions du Samedi (1979), Petit supplément aux passions (1980); en Monsieur Désir (1981).

Un rien d'amour


Le ciel distribué dans le temps massif ;

L'oeil est un temple dans la nuit ;

L'air marche

Parce que chacun possède son propre corps.

Pourquoi je rêve comme une bête

Quand tu n'es pas là ?


Je rêvais que tu rêvais dans mes songes,

Que tu étais heureux comme en enfer.

Il existe quatre lois pour la passion :

Avant, pendant, après, jamais.


Les étoiles digérées par ton corps

Deviennent des animaux dans tes yeux.

Ta passion veux que tu saignes,

Que tu puisses te pardonner de nous aimer.




The Muscles and Body Hairs


Melted in the mouth, colour hanging

A pink tool, but for now let”s talk

Of the ripple of his muscles (see how time

Is upset at a glance, the clock in

Slow motion) attuned to his technique, I exclaim

His body hairs briefly summing them up

In those cerain young spots that make me

Abandon all discretion now I’m summing up

Since at that time I was still coming.





Pleasure and Desire, Knowing and Wanting


knowing fatal pleasure, or very chemical,

so stupendously they I don't dare write the word

they ejaculated but don't fix me foor good

in those virile snapshots

despite their nervousness and the conversation that

helped I understand this will to tenderness,

the irritated look on their gorgeous faces

("Your face is as cute as a love-word")

because that swiftness, that suavity and

because desire has already scored you, teeth sweat,

the happenings that resist or that have disappeared

too soon, but no zeal, no shame in admitting it.





Vertaald door Daniel Sloate




André Roy (Montréal, 27 februari 1944)





De Britse dichter en schrijver Lawrence George Durrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1912 in Jalandhar in India. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009.




For Diana Gould


On charts they fall like lace,

Islands consuming in a sea

Born dense with its own blue:

And like repairing mirrors holding up

Small towns and trees and rivers

To the still air, the lovely air:

From the clear side of springing Time,

In clement places where the windmills ride,

Turning over grey springs in Mykonos,

In shadows with a gesture of content.


The statues of the dead here

Embark on sunlight, sealed

Each in her model with the sightless eyes:

The modest stones of Greeks,

Who gravely interrupted death by pleasure.

And in harbours softly fallen

The liver-coloured sails -

Sharp-featured brigantines with eyes -

Ride in reception so like women:

The pathetic faculty of girls

To register and utter desire

In the arms of men upon the new-mown waters,

Follow the wind, with their long shining keels

Aimed across Delos at a star.






This Unimportant Morning 


This unimportant morning

Something goes singing where

The capes turn over on their sides

And the warm Adriatic rides

Her blue and sun washing

At the edge of the world and its brilliant cliffs.


Day rings in the higher airs

Pure with cicadas, and slowing

Like a pulse to smoke from farms,


Extinguished in the exhausted earth,

Unclenching like a fist and going.


Trees fume, cool, pour - and overflowing

Unstretch the feathers of birds and shake

Carpets from windows, brush with dew

The up-and-doing: and young lovers now

Their little resurrections make.


And now lightly to kiss all whom sleep

Stitched up - and wake, my darling, wake.

The impatient Boatman has been waiting

Under the house, his long oars folded up

Like wings in waiting on the darkling lake.






Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)






De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009.



Hymn to the Night 


I heard the trailing garments of the Night

Sweep through her marble halls!

I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light

From the celestial walls!


I felt her presence, by its spell of might,

Stoop o'er me from above;

The calm, majestic presence of the Night,

As of the one I love.


I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,

The manifold, soft chimes,

That fill the haunted chambers of the Night

Like some old poet's rhymes.


From the cool cisterns of the midnight air

My spirit drank repose;

The fountain of perpetual peace flows there,--

From those deep cisterns flows.


O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear

What man has borne before!

Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,

And they complain no more.


Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!

Descend with broad-winged flight,

The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,

The best-beloved Night! 






Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)






De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009.





Es kommt eine Zeit,
da lassen die Bäume
ihre Blätter fallen.
Die Häuser rücken
enger zusammen.
Aus dem Schornstein
kommt ein Rauch.

Es kommt eine Zeit,
da werden die Tage klein
und die Nächte groß,
und jeder Abend
hat einen schönen Namen.

Einer heißt Hänsel und Gretel.
Einer heißt Schneewittchen.
Einer heißt Rumpelstilzchen.
Einer heißt Katherlieschen.
Einer heißt Hans im Glück.
Einer heißt Sterntaler.






Es kommt eine Zeit
da wird es still
Da gehn die Lichter aus
da kommt ein Wind
ruft nach dem Fährmann
Der träumt den Traum
vom goldnen Schiff
Das Schiff hat eine
große Fahrt bei Nacht
Es geht von Haus zu Haus
Es fährt die Straßen auf und ab
Es kommt durch alle Länder
Es kommt durch alle Stuben
Da bleibt ein goldner Schein zurück





Elisabeth Borchers (Homberg, 27 februari 1926)





De Amerikaanse schrijver Irwin Shaw werd geboren op 27 februari 1913 als Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009.


Uit: The Girls In Their Summer Dresses


‘Sure,’ he said. He took his eyes off the hatless girl with the dark hair, cut dancer-style, like a helmet, who was walking past him with the self-conscious strength and grace dancers have. She was walking without a coat and she looked very solid and strong and her belly was flat, like a boy’s, under her skirt, and her hips swung boldly because she was a dancer and also because she knew Michael was looking at her. She smiled a little to herself as she went past and Michael noticed all these things before he looked back at his wife. ‘Sure,’ he said, ‘we’re going to watch the Giants and we’re going to eat steak and we’re going to see a French picture. How do you like that?’
  ‘That’s it,’ Frances said flatly. ‘That’s the program for the day. Or maybe you’d just rather walk up and down Fifth Avenue.’
  ‘You always look at other women,’ Frances said. ‘At every damn woman in the city of New York.’
  ‘Oh, come now,’ Michael said, pretending to joke. ‘Only pretty ones. And, after all, how many pretty women are there in New York? Seventeen?’
  ‘More. At least you seem to think so. Wherever you go.’
  ‘Not the truth. Occasionally, maybe, I look at a woman as she passes. In the street. I admit, perhaps in the street I look at a woman once in a while....’
  ‘Everywhere,’ Frances said. ‘Every damned place we go. Restaurants, subways, theaters, lectures, concerts.’
  ‘Now, darling,’ Michael said. ‘I look at everything. God gave me eyes and I look at women and men and subway excavations and moving pictures and the little flowers of the field. I casually inspect the universe.’
  ‘You ought to see the look in your eye,’ Frances said, ‘as you casually inspect the universe on Fifth Avenue.’
  ‘I’m a happily married man.’ Michael pressed her elbow tenderly, knowing what he was doing. ‘Example for the whole twentieth century, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Loomis.’
  ‘You mean it?’
  ‘Frances, baby....’
  ‘Are you really happily married?’
  ‘Sure,’ Michael said, feeling the whole Sunday morning sinking like lead inside him.   ‘Now what the hell is the sense in talking like that?’

  ‘I would like to know.’ Frances walked faster now, looking straight ahead, her face showing nothing, which was the way she always managed it when she was arguing or feeling bad.“




Irwin Shaw (27 februari 1913 – 16 mei 1984)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27e februari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.


John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, Jules Lemaître, James T. Farrell, N. Scott Momaday, Irwin Shaw, Johannes Meinhold, Traugott Vogel

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008.


Uit: The Log from the Sea of Cortez


In the early morning before daylight we came into the harbor at San Diego, in through the narrow passage, and we followed the lights on a changing course to the pier. All about us war bustled, although we had no war; steel and thunder, powder and men--the men preparing thoughtlessly, like dead men, to destroy things. The planes roared over in formation and the submarines were quiet and ominous. There is no playfulness in a submarine. The military mind must limit its thinking to be able to perform its function at all. Thus, in talking with a naval officer who had won a target competition with big naval guns, we asked, 'have you thought what happens in a little street when one of your shells explodes, of the families torn to pieces, a thousand generations influenced when you signaled Fire?' 'Of course not,' he said. 'Those shells travel so far that you couldn't possibly see where they land.' And he was quite correct. if he could really see where they land and what they do, if he could really feel the power in his dropped hand and the waves radiating out from his gun, he would not be able to perform his function. He himself would be the weak point of his gun. But by not seeing, by insisting that it be a problem of ballistics and trajectory, he is a good gunnery officer. And he is too humble to take the responsibility for thinking. The whole structure of his world would be endangered if he permitted himself to think. The pieces must stick within their pattern or the whole thing collapses and the design is gone. We wonder whether in the present pattern the pieces are not straining to fall out of line; whether the paradoxes of our times are not finally mounting to a conclusion of ridiculousness that will make the whole structure collapse. For the paradoxes are becoming so great that leaders of a people must be less and less intelligent to stand their own leadership.”





John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)






De Britse dichter en schrijver Lawrence George Durrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1912 in Jalandhar in India. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008.


Uit: Justine


“As for me I am neither happy nor unhappy; I lie suspended like a hair or a feather in the cloudy mixtures of memory. I spoke of the uselessness of art but added nothing truthful about its consolations. The solace of such work as I do with brain and heart lies in this—that only there, in the silences of the painter or the writer can reality be reordered, reworked and made to show its significant side. Our common actions in reality are simply the sackcloth covering which hides the cloth-of-gold—the meaning of the pattern. For us artists there waits the joyous compromise through art with all that wounded or defeated us in daily life; in this way not to evade destiny, as the ordinary people try to do, but to fulfil it in its true potential—the imagination. Otherwise why should we hurt one another? No, the remission I am seeking, and will be granted perhaps, is not one I shall ever see in the bright friendly eyes of Melissa or the sombre brow-dark gaze of Justine. We have all of us taken different paths now; but in this, the first great fragmentation of my maturity I feel the confines of my art and my living deepened immeasurably by the memory of them. In thought I achieve them anew; as if only here—this wooden table over the sea under an olive tree, only here can I enrich them as they deserve. So that the taste of this writing should have taken something from its living subjects—their breath, skin, voices—weaving them into the supple tissues of human memory. I want them to live again to the point where pain becomes art….Perhaps this is a useless attempt, I cannot say. But I must try.”





Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)





De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008.



Afternoon in February


The day is ending,

The night is descending;

The marsh is frozen,

The river dead.


Through clouds like ashes

The red sun flashes

On village windows

That glimmer red.


The snow recommences;

The buried fences

Mark no longer

The road o'er the plain;


While through the meadows,

Like fearful shadows,

Slowly passes

A funeral train.


The bell is pealing,

And every feeling

Within me responds

To the dismal knell;


Shadows are trailing,

My heart is bewailing

And tolling within

Like a funeral bell.





Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)






De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008.





Es kommt eine Zeit,

da nimmt’s ein böses Ende

mit dem Schneemann.


Er verliert seinen schwarzen Hut,

er verliert seine rote Nase,

und der Besen fällt ihm aus der Hand.

Kleiner wird er von Tag

zu Tag.


Neben ihm wächst ein Grün

und noch ein Grün

und noch ein Grün.


Die Sonne treibt

Vögel vor sich her.

Die wünschen dem Schneemann

eine gute Reise.






Es kommt eine Zeit

da machen die Vögel Hochzeit


Nachtigall und Lerche

Zaunkönig und Sperling

Rotkehlchen und Amsel


Ein Lied fliegt zum andern

Die Bäume tragen weite Kleider

Der Wind läutet die Blumen

Die Bienen haben goldne Schuhe


Die Katze

die graue die schwarze die weiße

sie darf es nicht tun

Sie darf die Hochzeit

nicht stören






Elisabeth Borchers (Homberg, 27 februari 1926)






De Franse schrijver en dichter Jules Lemaître werd geboren op 27 februari 1853 in Vennecy, Loiret. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008.


Uit: Edmond et Jules de Goncourt


„Un tel genre de talent ne peut s'appliquer tout entier, on le comprend, qu'à la peinture des choses vues, de la vie moderne, surtout parisienne. Cinq des romans de MM. de Goncourt, sur six, sont des romans parisiens. Leur objet, c'est «la modernité», laquelle est visible surtout à Paris. Ce néologisme s'entend aisément ; mais ce qu'il représente n'est pas très facile à déterminer, car le moderne change insensiblement, et puis ce qui est moderne est toujours superposé ou mêlé à ce qui ne l'est point ou à ce qui ne l'est déjà plus. La modernité, c'est L d'abord, si l'on veut, dans l'ensemble et dans le détail de la vie extérieure, le genre de pittoresque qui est particulier à notre temps. C'est ce qui porte la date d'aujourd'hui dans nos maisons, dans nos rues, dans nos lieux de réunion. L'habit noir ou la jaquette des hommes, les chiffons des femmes, l'asphalte du boulevard, le petit journalisme, le bec de gaz et demain la lumière électrique, et une infinité d'autres choses en font partie. C'est ce qui fait qu'une rue, un café, un salon, une femme d'à présent ne ressemblent pas, extérieurement, à une femme, à un salon, à un café, à une rue du XVIIIe, ou même du temps de Louis-Philippe. La modernité, c'est encore ce qui, dans les cervelles, a l'empreinte du moment où nous sommes ; c'est une certaine fleur de culture extrême ou de perversion intellectuelle ; un tour d'esprit et de langage fait surtout d'outrance, de recherche et d'irrévérence, où domine le paradoxe, l'ironie et «la blague», où se trahit le fiévreux de l'existence, une expérience amère, une prétention à être revenu de tout, en même temps qu'une sensibilité excessive ; et c'est aussi, chez quelques personnes privilégiées, une bonté, une tendresse de cœur que les désillusions du blasé font plus désintéressé, et que l'intelligence du critique et de l'artiste fait plus intelligente et plus délicate… La modernité, c'est une chose à la fois très vague et très simple ; et l'on dira peut-être que la découverte de MM. de Goncourt n'est point si extraordinaire, qu'on avait inventé «le moderne» bien avant eux, qu'il n'y faut que des yeux.“




Jules Lemaître (27 februari 1853 – 5 augustus 1914)







De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thomas Farrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1904 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.


Uit: Joyce and His First Self-Portrait


This race and this country and this life produced me," declares Stephen Dedalus--artistic image of James Joyce himself--in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." "A Portrait" is the story of how Stephen was produced, how he rejected that which produced him, how he discovered that his destiny was to become a lonely one of artistic creation. It is well to look into the life out of which Stephen came, to discuss the social and national background of this novel. In Ireland a major premise of any discussion of her culture and of her literature is an understanding of Irish nationalism. And it is at least arguable that Joyce was a kind of inverted nationalist--that the nationalism which he rejects runs through him like a central thread.

Ireland, when James Joyce was a boy, suffered from a profound political defeat, the fall of Parnell. In that, once again, she was set back in her long struggle to attain nationhood. The aftermath was marked by a deeply felt and pervasive bitterness, often expressed in feelings of personal betrayal. And "A Portrait" reflects such moods. The brilliantly written scene, early in this novel, of the Dedalus family pitilessly quarreling at the Christmas dinner table is a highly concentrated artistic representation of the magnitude of Parnell's fall in Ireland, of how it cut through families with a knifelike sharpness. The family argument is personal and its passionate anger seems to be in inverse proportion to the political impotence of those who are hurling insults at one another.





James T. Farrell (27 februari 1904 – 22 augustus 1979)






De Amerikaanse (native, Kiowa) schrijver N(avarre) Scott Momaday werd geboren op 27 februari 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.



The Earth


Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon

the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up

to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from

as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon


He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at

every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon

it. He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest

motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of noon and

all the colors of the dawn and dusk.

For we are held by more than the force of gravity to the earth.

It is the entity from which we are sprung, and that into which

we are dissolved in time. The blood of the whole human race

is invested in it. We are moored there, rooted as surely, as

deeply as are the ancient redwoods and bristlecones.




N. Scott Momaday (Lawton, 27 februari 1934)






De Amerikaanse schrijver Irwin Shaw werd geboren op 27 februari 1913 als Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in New York. Hij stamde uit een Russisch-joodse familie uit de Bronx, die na zijn geboorte naar Brooklyn verhuisde en de familienaam in Shaw veranderde. Tijdens zijn colletijd schreef hij al voor de schoolkrant. In 1935 begon hij romans voor de radio te schrijven (Dick Tracy). Zijn eerste theaterstuk werd in 1936 opgevoerd. In de jaren veertig schreef hij draaiboeken voor Hollywood. Gedurende WO II was hij als soldaat in Europa. Zijn ervaringen verwerkte hij in zijn eerste roman The Young Lions verscheen in 1949. Zijn tweede The Troubled Air, die de opkomst van het McCarthyisme beschreef, in 1951. Shaw werd ook zeer gewaardeerd als schrijver van short stories. Die verschenen in bladen als Collier's, Esquire, The New Yorker, Playboy, en The Saturday Evening Post. Een verzameling van 63 van zijn beste verhalen werd uitgevracht als Short Stories: Five Decades in 1978, herdrukt in 2000 als een 784-pagina dikke University of Chicago Press paperback.


Uit: The Climate Of Insomnia


„He awoke early, conscious that it was a sunny day outside. He lay in bed feeling warm and healthy. There was a noise from the next bed, and he looked across the little space. There was a woman in the next bed. She was middle-aged and wearing curlers and she was snoring and Hugh was certain he had never seen her before in his life. He got out of bed silently, dressed quickly, and went out into the sunny day.

Without thinking about it, he walked to the subway station. He watched the people hurrying toward the trains and he knew that he probably should join them. He had the feeling that somewhere in the city to the south, in some tall building on a narrow street, his arrival was expected. But he knew that no matter how hard he tried he would never be able to find the building. Buildings these days, it occurred to him suddenly, were too much like other buildings.

He walked briskly away from the subway station in the direction of the river. The river was shining in the sun and there was ice along the banks. A boy of about twelve, in a plaid mackinaw and a wool hat, was sitting on a bench and regarding the river. there were some schoolbooks, tied with a leather strap, on the frozen ground at his feet.

Hugh sat down next to the boy. ‘Good morning,’ he said pleasantly.

‘Good morning,’ said the boy.

‘What’re you doing?’ Hugh asked.

‘I’m counting the boats,’ the boy said. ‘Yesterday I counted thirty-two boats. Not counting ferries. I don’t count ferries.’

Hugh nodded. He put his hands in his pockets and looked down over the river. By five o’clock that afternoon he and the boy had counted forty-three boats, not including ferries. He couldn’t remember having had a nicer day.“




Irwin Shaw (27 februari 1913 – 16 mei 1984)






De Duitse schrijver Johannes Wilhelm Meinhold werd geboren op 27 februari 1797 in Netzelkow op Usedom. Hij studeerde theologie, filosofie en filologie in Greifswald, maar moest die studie na twee jaar afbreken wegens gebrek aan geld. Hij werd huisleraar en ontwikkelde zich verder door zelfstudie. In 1817 slaagde hij alsnog voor zijn examen. In 1827 werd hij dominee in Krummin. In 1838 begon hij zijn novelle “Die Pfarrerstochter von Coserow“ om te werken tot de roman „Maria Schweidler, die Bernsteinhexe“, die hij in delen in 1841 en 1842 publiceerde. Het boek uit 1843 werd zijn succesvolste werk.


Uit: Die Bernsteinhexe


“Nach etzlichen Tagen, als unsere Nothdurft fast verzehret, fiel mir auch meine letzte Kuh umb (die andern hatten die Wülfe, wie oben bemeldet, allbereits zurissen) nicht ohne sonderlichen Verdacht, daß die Lise ihr etwas angethan, angesehen sie den Tag vorhero noch wacker gefressen. Doch lasse ich das in seinen Würden, dieweil ich Niemand nit verleumbden mag; kann auch geschehen sein durch die Schikkung des gerechten Gottes, deßen Zorn ich wohl verdienet hab' – Summa:

ich war wiederumb in großen Nöthen und mein Töchterlein Maria zuriß mir noch mehr das Herze durch ihr Seufzen, als das Geschreie anhub: daß abermals ein Trupp Kaiserlicher nach Uekeritze gekommen, und noch gräulicher denn die ersten gemarodiret, auch das halbe Dorf in Brand gestecket. Derohalben hielt ich mich nicht mehr sicher in meiner Hütten, sondern nachdem in einem brünstigen Gebet Alles dem Herrn empfohlen, machte mich mit meinem Töchterlein und der alten Ilsen auf, in den Streckelberg1 wo ich allbereits ein Loch, einer Höhlen gleich, und trefflich von Brommelbeeren verrancket uns ausersehen, wenn die Noth uns verscheuchen söllte. Nahmen daher mit, was uns an Nothdurft des Leibes geblieben, und rannten mit Seufzen und Weinen in den Wald, wohin uns aber bald die alten Greisen und das Weibsvolk mit den Kindern folgten, welche ein groß Hungergeschrei erhoben.”




Johannes Meinhold (27 februari 1797 – 30 november 1851)






Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.


De Zwitserse schrijver Traugott Vogel werd op 27 februari 1894 als zoon van een groentehandelaar in Zürich geboren.




John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, Jules Lemaitre, James Thomas Farrell, N(avarre) Scott Momaday, Traugott Vogel

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.


Uit: East Of Eden


I went along with them, marveling at the beauty of their proud clean brains. I began to love my race, and for the first time I wanted to be Chinese. Every two weeks I went to a meeting with them, and in my room here I covered pages with writing. I bought every known Hebrew dictionary. But the old gentlemen were always ahead of me. It wasn't long before they were ahead of our rabbi; he brought a colleague in. Mr. Hamilton, you should have sat through some of those nights of argument and discussion. The questions, the inspection, oh, the lovely thinking -- the beautiful thinking.  
"After two years we felt that we could approach your sixteen verses of the fourth chapter of Genesis. My old gentlemen felt that these words were very im­portant too -- 'Thou shalt' and 'Do thou.' And this was the gold from our mining: 'Thou mayest.' 'Thou mayest rule over sin.' The old gentlemen smiled and nodded and felt the years were well spent. It brought them out of their Chinese shells too, and right now they are studying Greek."  
Samuel said, "It's a fantastic story. And I've tried to follow and maybe I've missed somewhere. Why is this word so important?"  
Lee's hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. "Don't you see?" he cried. "The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in 'Thou shalt,' meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel -- 'Thou mayest' -- that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if 'Thou mayest' -- it is also true that 'Thou mayest not.' Don't you see?"  
"Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?"  
"Ah!" said Lee. "I've wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is impor­tant. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, 'Do thou,' and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in 'Thou shalt.' Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But "Thou mayest'! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win." Lee's voice was a chant of triumph.”  





John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)





De Britse dichter en schrijver Lawrence George Durrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1912 in Jalandhar in India. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.




Soft toys that make to seem girls
In cool whitewash with two coral
Valves of lip printing each others' grease ...
A clockwork Cupid's bow. Increase!
Their cherry-ripe hullo brims the open purse
Of eyes washed white by the marmoreal light;
So swaying as if on pyres they go
About the buried business of the night,
Cold witches of the elementary tease
Balanced on the horn of a supposed desire...
Trees shed their leaves like some of these.






The soft quem quam will be Scops the Owl
conjugation of nouns, a line of enquiry,
powdery stubble of the socratic prison
laurels crack like parchments in the wind.
who walks here in the violet dust at night
by the tower of the winds and water-clocks?
tapers smoke upon open coffins
surely the shattered pitchers must one day
revive in the gush of marble breathing up?
call again softly, and again.
the fresh spring empties like a vein
no children spit on their reflected faces
but from the blazing souk below the passive smells
bread urine cooking printing-ink
will tell you what the sullen races think
and among the tombs gnawing of mandolines
confounding sleep with carnage where
strangers arrive like sleepy gods
dismount at nightfall at desolate inns.





Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)





De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.


The Day Is Done


The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.






Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)





De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.



Was alles braucht’s zum Paradies


Ein Warten ein Garten

eine Mauer darum

ein Tor mit viel Schloß und viel Riegel

ein Schwert eine Schneide aus Morgenlicht

ein Rauschen aus Blättern und Bächen

ein Flöten ein Harfen ein Zirpen

ein Schnauben (von lieblicher Art)

Arzeneien aus Balsam und Düften

viel Immergrün und Nimmerschwarz

kein Plagen Klagen Hoffen

kein Ja kein Nein kein Widerspruch

ein Freudenlaut

ein allerlei Wiegen und Wogen

das Spielzeug eine Acht aus Gold

ein Heute und kein Morgen

der Zeitvertreib das Wunder

das Testament aus warmem Schnee

wer kommt wer ginge wieder

Wir werden es erfragen.





Elisabeth Borchers (Homberg, 27 februari 1926)




De Franse schrijver en dichter Jules Lemaître werd geboren op 27 februari 1853 in Vennecy, Loiret. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.


Uit: En marge des vieux livres


“Télémaque venait d'atteindre sa vingtième année. Ses parents songeaient à le marier ; mais il n'était pas facile de lui trouver une femme dans la contrée, car toutes les jeunes princesses de Zanthe, de Zacynthe et de Dulichios étaient soeurs ou cousines des prétendants tués par le magnanime Ulysse, et l'on craignait qu'elles ne se fissent prier pour entrer dans sa famille.

Ulysse, alors, se souvint de Nausicaa, et de sa grâce, et de son bon caractère. C'était aux parents de Nausicaa qu'il devait d'avoir revu sa patrie. «Même, dit-il, je me souviens que le roi Alcinoos, me croyant célibataire, souhaita que je devinsse son gendre. J'étais un peu mûr pour sa fille. Je suis néanmoins persuadé qu'elle m'eût accepté pour mari. A plus forte raison, mon cher fils, agréerait-elle en toi un autre moi-même, plus jeune, de poil plus nouveau, et plus plaisant à voir. Peut-être n'est-elle pas encore mariée. Si tu m'en crois, dès que les vents seront favorables, tu équiperas un navire et tu iras rendre visite au roi Alcinoos, dans l'île des Phéaciens.

- Volontiers», dit Télémaque.

Or, le même jour, un messager de Ménélas, roi de Sparte, débarqua dans le port d'Ithaque, vint trouver Ulysse avec des présents, et lui dit :

- Voici le message dont je suis chargé pour toi. Le roi Ménélas et sa femme Hélène ont gardé le meilleur souvenir de ton fils Télémaque. Ils doivent recevoir prochainement dans leur maison le roi et la reine de Phéacie, dont tu fus l'hôte, et leur fille Nausicaa. Si donc il plaisait à ton fils de retourner à Sparte, il y rencontrerait cette aimable enfant. Le roi Ménélas ne m'en a pas dit davantage; mais, si Télémaque accepte son invitation, il pourrait profiter du vaisseau qui m'a conduit ici.”





Jules Lemaître (27 februari 1853 – 5 augustus 1914)






De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thomas Farrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1904 in Chicago.


De Amerikaanse (native, Kiowa) schrijver N(avarre) Scott Momaday werd geboren op 27 februari 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma.

De Zwitserse schrijver Traugott Vogel werd op 27 februari 1894 als zoon van een groentehandelaar in Zürich geboren.




John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, James T. Farrell, Henry Longfellow, N. Scott Momaday, Elisabeth Borchers, Jules Lemaître, Traugott Vogel

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Steinbeck schreef in een naturalistische/realistische stijl, vaak over arme mensen uit de arbeidersklasse. Zijn werk The Grapes of Wrath (De druiven der gramschap) vertelt het verhaal van de Joads, een arme familie uit de Amerikaanse staat Oklahoma tijdens de "Dust Bowl", en hun reis naar, en hun problemen in de staat Californië.  East of Eden is waarschijnlijk het belangrijkste werk van Steinbeck  John Ernst Steinbeck is van gemengde komaf. De familie van zijn vader was van Duitse afkomst en die van zijn moeder kwam van Noord Ierland. John Steinbeck bracht zijn jeugd door in Monterey County in de Salinas Valley.

In 1919 studeerde hij af aan de hoge school van Salinas. Hij ging naar Stanford universiteit, waar hij mariene biologie studeerde. Maar hij maakte zijn studies niet af. In 1925 ging hij naar New York City, waar hij werkte als journalist voor ‘The American’, om schrijver te worden. Maar hij kon zijn werkstukken niet gepubliceerd krijgen, waardoor hij uiteindelijk terugkeerde naar Californië.

In Californië bleef hij schrijven en in 1929 werd zijn eerste boek gepubliceerd, Cup of GoldTortilla Flat (1935) was het keerpunt in Steinbecks carrière. Hiervoor ontving hij een gouden medaille voor beste debuut van een Californische schrijverskring. In 1962 volgde de ultieme bekroning voor zijn schrijverscarrière, hij ontving de Nobelprijs voor de literatuur.


Uit: The Grapes of Wrath


“Then, with time, the squatters were no longer squatters, but owners; and their children grew up and had children on the land.  And the hunger was gone from them, the feral hunger, the gnawing, tearing hunger for land, for water and earth and the good sky over it, for the green thrusting grass, for the swelling roots.  They had these things so completely that they did not know about them any more. They had no more the stomach-tearing lust for a rich acre and a shining blade to plow it, for seed and a windmill beating its wings in the air.  They arose in the dark no more to hear the sleepy birds’ first chittering, and the morning wind around the house while they waited for the first light to go out to the dear acres.  These things were lost, and crops were reckoned in dollars, and land was valued by principal plus interest, and crops were bought and sold before they were planted.  Then crop failure, drought, and flood were no longer little deaths within life, but simple losses of money.  And all their love was thinned with money, and all their fierceness dribbled away in interest until they were no longer farmers at all, buy little shopkeepers of crops, little manufacturers who must sell before they can make, Then those farmers who were not good shopkeepers lost their land to good shopkeepers.  No matter how clever, how loving a man might be with earth and growing things, he could not survive if he were not also a good shopkeeper.  And as time went on, the business men had the farms, and the farms grew larger, but there were fewer of them.


Now farming became industry, and the owners followed Rome, although they did not know it.  They imported slaves, although they did not call them slaves: Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Filipinos.  They ice on rice and beans, the business men said.  They don’t need much.  They couldn’t know what to do with good wages.  Why, look how they live.  Why, look what they eat.  And if they get funny--deport them.”




John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 - 20 december 1968)


De Britse schrijver Lawrence George Durrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1912 in jalandhar in India. Zijn opleiding kreeg hij in Engeland waar hij nooit echt gelukkig was. Hij noemde zich zelf dan ook liever cosmopoliet. Zijn beroemdste werk is de romantetralogie The Alexandria Quartet. Het eerste deel ervan, “Justine”, verscheen in 1957. Daarna volgden “Balthazar" (1958), "Mountolive" (1959) and "Clea" (1960). Het werk beschrijft de gebeurtenissen in het Alexandrië  van voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog.


Uit: Balthazar (1958)


"The desert," said Narouz. "By the way, will you ride out with me to the tents of Abu Kar to-morrow? I have been promised an Arab and I want to break it myself. It would make a pleasant excursion." Nessim was at once delighted at the prospect. "Yes" he said. "But early, " said Narouz, "and we can pass the olive plantation for you to see what progress we're making. Will you? Please do! . . . Oh, Nessim! I wish you stayed here. Your place is here."
          Nessim as always was beginning to wish the same. That night they dined in the old-fashioned way--so different from the impertinent luxury of Alexandrian forms--each taking his napkin from the table and proceeding to the yard for the elaborate handwashing ceremony. . . . At last, when sweetmeats and fruit had been served, they returned once more to where the waiting servants stood and washed their hands again.
          . . . Smoking materials had been set out . . . [H]e sat with his chin in his hand wondering how he could impart his news, . . . and whether he should be frank about his motives in choosing for a wife a woman who was of a different faith from his own [Justine is Jewish. Eds.]. The night was hot and still, and the scent of magnolia blossom came up to the balcony in little drifts and eddies of air which made the candles flutter and dance; he was gnawed by irresolution.
          . . . The little viol scribbled its complaints upon the text reaching back into their childhood. And now suddenly the singer burst into the passionate pilgrim song which expresses so marvellously the Moslem's longing for Mecca and his adoration of the Prophet--and the melody fluttered inside the brothers' hearts, imprisoned like a bird with beating wings. Narouz, though a Copt, was repeating "All-ah, All-ah! in a rapture of praise.
          . . . As he stood in the doorway, Nessim said impulsively: "Narouz--I've something to tell you. . . . But it will keep until to-morrow. We shall be alone, shan't we?" Narouz nodded and smiled. "The desert is such torture for them that I always send them back at the fringe, the servants."
          "Yes." Nessim well knew that Egyptians believe the desert to be an emptiness populated entirely by the spirits of demons and other grotesque visitants from Eblis, the Moslem Satan.
          Nessim slept and awoke to find his brother, fully dressed, standing beside his bed with coffee and cigarettes.”
          .          .


Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thomas Farrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1904 in Chicago. Hij bezocht de Mt. Carmel High School en studeerde daarna aan de universiteit van Chicago. Hij begon met schrijven toen hij 21 jaar was. Hij is bekend voor zijn realistische beschrijvingen van de Ierse werkende klasse in Chicago Zuid. Zijn werk is autobiografisch van aard. Zijn meest bekende werk is de trilogie Studs Lonigan. Deze werd in 1960 verfilmd en in 1979 volgde er nog een tv-serie.


Uit: Judgment Day (Studs Lonigan)


“Grim-faced men in working clothes and overalls with an interspersing of women in their ranks marched slowly along a high fence surrounding a factory in a mid-western town, watched by special deputies who stood at regularly-spaced intervals with clubs and truncheons ready. Above the geometrically patterned factory windows, two chimneys smoked.


"When non-striking workers attempted to relieve the day shift at this factory, they were attacked by strikers. And look at this for a sample of some real serious rioting," the announcer called in the same tone as if he were describing a heroic hundred-yard run on a college gridiron, and simultaneously with his words the screen presented men struggling and grappling, tugging, wrestling, raising a cloud of dust, and howling and cursing as they fought, groups coming together amidst flying bricks and swinging clubs, policemen breaking groups apart shagging overalled men from the factory gates with raised clubs. A fleeing man in overalls was clubbed by a policeman, and as he fell groggily forward, a special deputy smashed him on the shoulder with a truncheon. He lay face forward in the center of the picture, blood oozing from his head, and the struggling crowd surged over his body.


Guarded by policemen with drawn guns, a sick-faced, injured, bleeding group of strikers sat dazed in the dusty street, and one full-faced policeman turned to smile into the camera.


"Poor bastards," Pat mumbled.


"This unfortunate riot resulted in the injury of scores. Two strikers and one deputy were taken to a local hospital in a critical condition with their skulls fractured. Not the best form of sport, I'd say, and it is to be regretted that such altercations occur and to be hoped that they are not repeated."



James T. Farrell (27 februari 1904 – 22 augustus 1979)


De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Longfellow studeerde in Harvard. Hij werd bibliothecaris. Na een reis door Europa (1826-1829) werd hij de eerste hoogleraar in de moderne talen. In 1831 trouwde hij met Mary Storer Potter, die in 1835, tijdens een nieuwe reis door Europa, in Rotterdam overleed. Hij huwde later met Frances Appleton. In 1854 verliet hij Harvard om zich volledig aan het schrijven te wijden. Hij ontving in 1859 een eredoctoraat. In 1861 verloor hij zijn vrouw door een brand. Aan die gebeurtenis wijdde hij het nog steeds veel gelezen sonnet The Cross of Snow.

In zijn tijd was zijn poëzie buitengewoon populair, maar slechts een klein deel van zijn omvangrijke oeuvre wordt nog gelezen. Longfellow maakte ook vele vertalingen en heeft daardoor veel Europese poëzie voor Amerikanen toegankelijk gemaakt.




O GIFT of God! O perfect day :
Whereon shall no man work, but play ;
Whereon it is enough for me,
Not to be doing, but to be!


Through every fibre of my brain,
Through every nerve, through every vein,
I feel the electric thrill, the touch
Of life, that seems almost too much.


I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies ;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.


And over me unrolls on high
The splendid scenery of the sky,
Where through a sapphire sea the sun
Sails like a golden galleon.


Towards yonder cloud-land in the West,
Towards yonder Islands of the Blest,
Whose steep sierra far uplifts
Its craggy summits white with drifts.


Blow, winds ! and waft through all the rooms
The snow-flakes of the cherry-blooms !
Blow, winds ! and bend within my reach
The fiery blossoms of the peach !


O Life and Love ! O happy throng
Of thoughts, whose only speech is song !
O heart of man ! canst thou not be
Blithe as the air is, and as free ?




Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 - 24 maart 1882)


De Amerikaanse (native, Kiowa) schrijver N(avarre) Scott Momaday werd geboren op 27 februari 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma. Hij was de zoon van de schrijver Natachee Scott Momaday en de schilderes Al Momaday. Zijn roman House Made of Dawn betekende de doorbraak van de “native” literatuur in de mainstream literatuur. Momaday kreeg er de Pulitzer Prize for Fiction voor in 1969.


Uit: House Made of Dawn


"The Kiowas are a summer people; they abide the cold and keep to themselves, but when the season turns and the land becomes warm and vital they cannot hold still; an old love of going returns upon them. The old people have a fine sense of pageantry and a wonderful notion of decorum. The aged visitors who came to my grandmother's house when I was a child were men of immense character, full of wisdom and disdain. They dealt in a kind of infallible quiet and gave but one face away; it was enough. They were made of lean and leather, and they bore themselves upright. They wore great black hats and bright ample shirts that shook in the wind. They rubbed fat upon their hair and wound their braids with strips of colored cloth. Some of them painted their faces and carried the scars of old and cherished enmities. They were an old council of war lords, come to remind and be reminded of who they were...”



N. Scott Momaday (Lawton, 27 februari 1934)


De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. Tijdens de oorlog verbleef zij bij haar grootouders in de Elzas. Van 1945 tot 1954 werkte Borchers als tolk voor de Franse bezettingsmacht. Van 1958 tot 1960 verbleef zij in de VS.  Van 1960 tot 1971 was zij lector voor de uitgeverij Luchterhand, daarna voor Suhrkamp en de Insel Verlag. Naast gedichten schreef zij ook talrijke kinderboeken.




Es komnmt eine Zeit

mit Regen

mit Hagel

mit Schnee.

Mit Wind, der um die Ecke stürzt,

der nimmt dem Mann den Hut vom Kopf.

Ei, ruft der Mann, wo ist mein Hut?

Ei, ruft der Hut, wo ist mein Mann?

Und ist schon ganz weit oben.

Der Hahn auf goldner Kirchturmspitz,

der denkt:

Ich seh nicht recht.

Ein Hut ganz ohne Mann.

Ein Hut, der auch noch fliegen kann

und hat doch keine Flügel an.

Der Mann steht klein und dunkel da.

Der Wind ist längst vorbei.





Es kommt eine Zeit

da hat die Sonne

alle Arbeit getan

die Äpfel sind rot

die Birnen sind gelb

und die Marktfrauen rufen

Pflaumen schöne Pflaumen


Es kommt eine Zeit

da wird die Sonne müde

und immer kleiner


So klein wie eine Orange

die nach Afrika zurückrollt

wie ein Taler

der von einer Hand zu andern wandert

wie der Knopf

vom Matrosenkleid


So klein wird die Sonne, daß der Himmel sie nicht mehr halten kann


Sie rollt übers Dach

rollt hintern Berg

jetzt kann sie keiner mehr sehen



Elisabeth Borchers (Homberg, 27 februari 1926)


De Franse schrijver en dichter Jules Lemaître werd geboren op 27 februari 1853 in Vennecy, Loiret. Hij schreef verhalen, komedies, gedichten, kritieken en levensbeschrijvingen. In 1895 werd hij lid van de Académie française. 1899–1904 Was hij oprichter en president van de Ligue de la Patrie française.


Uit: Chateaubriand


« Chateaubriand! Quelles images fait surgir aussitôt ce nom sonore? Une magnifique série d'attitudes et de costumes. Un enfant rêveur, dans les bruyères, autour d'un vieux château... Un jeune officier français chez les Peaux-Rouges, parmi des sauvagesses charmantes, dans la forêt vierge... Un livre qui fait rouvrir les églises et sortir les processions... Le clair de lune, la cime indéterminée des forêts, l'odeur d'ambre des crocodiles... Un écrivain jaloux de la gloire de Napoléon... Un royaliste qui sert le roi avec la plus dédaigneuse fidélité... Un vieillard sourd près du fauteuil d'une vieille dame, belle et aveugle... Un tombeau dans les rochers sur la mer...

Quoi encore? Il avait la plus belle tête du monde, et dont on ne conçoit les cheveux que fouettés par le vent. Il a su exprimer avec des mots plus de sensations qu'on n'avait fait avant lui. Il est l'homme qui a «renouvelé l'imagination française» (Faguet). Il est le père du romantisme et de presque toute la littérature du dix-neuvième siècle. Et il est l'inventeur d'une nouvelle façon d'être triste. »




Jules Lemaître (27 februari 1853 – 5 augustus 1914)


De Zwitserse schrijver Traugott Vogel werd op 27 februari 1894 als zoon van een groentehandelaar in Zürich geboren. Na korte studies aan diverse universiteiten koos hij voor het beroep van leraar. Geïnspireerd door zijn beroep begon Vogel aan het begin van de jaren twintig jeugdboeken te schrijven. Maar zijn omvangrijke literaire bestaat  tevens uit romans, verhalen, hoorspelen entheaterstukken. Hij zette zich in voor het behoud van het dialect en stimuleerde en begeleidde jonge schrijvers.

Uit: Die Diebskirche 

„Aber mit einem Male reckte sie sich und spähte gegen den Eingang, der hinter den Geräten als abendliche Helligkeit zu erkennen war. Sie hielt den Zeigfinger gegen ihre schmalen, faltigen Lippen und sprach etwas ohne Laut: eine Warnung. Und schon zog sie mich in ein Versteck hinter Leitern und Wagenrädern, wo wir uns niederduckten und warteten.
Marco war vom Tale heimgekommen. Er stieg über Lumpen und Latten und blieb vor einer Sparkirche stehen. Zu beiden Seiten hielt er je ein grosses, vierpfündiges Brot unter den Arm geklemmt, und jeder Laib war tief angeknabbert: Das Weisse leuchtete wie eine Wunde in der dunklen Rinde.
Er warf die Brote hin und begann in seiner Tasche zu wühlen.
Ich konnte ihn zwischen den Speichen des Rades hindurch beobachten, sah aber nur einige schattenhafte Gebärden, nicht den Ausdruck seines Gesichtes, und stellte mir das Glühen seiner katzenhaft grünen Augen vor. Die Nacht kam aus den Winkeln unserer seltsamen, verwunschenen Bergkapelle gekrochen, und draussen war wohl der Abendhimmel am Erlöschen.
Ich begriff, dass es dem Burschen darum ging, den Ertrag des Tages auf diesem versteckten Altar abzuliefern. Zunächst war es wohl das Geldstück, das er als mein Träger verdient hatte, und das er nun in den Kirchturm einwarf. Ich hörte ein schabendes Geräusch, dann das Auffallen der Münze – und gleichzeitig schlug ein dünnes Glöcklein an. Bim, tönte es, wie zum Dank.
Er hielt still und lauschte dem silbernen Tönchen nach. Natalie neben mir presste ihre Fäuste gegen die Zähne. Sie schnaufte heftig. Hatte sie das Klingeln zu hören vermocht? Kaum.“

Traugott Vogel
(27 februari 1894 – 31 januari 1975)

Boekomslag (Geen foto beschikbaar)