30-08-17

Dolce far niente, James Whitcomb Riley, Charles Reznikoff, François Cheng, Jiř,i Orten, Libu¨e Moníková, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

 

Dolce far niente

 

 
Streets in Late August door Daniel Robbins, 2013

 

 

August

A day of torpor in the sullen heat
Of Summer's passion: In the sluggish stream
The panting cattle lave their lazy feet,
With drowsy eyes, and dream.

Long since the winds have died, and in the sky
There lives no cloud to hint of Nature's grief;
The sun glares ever like an evil eye,
And withers flower and leaf.

Upon the gleaming harvest-field remote
The thresher lies deserted, like some old
Dismantled galleon that hangs afloat
Upon a sea of gold.

The yearning cry of some bewildered bird
Above an empty nest, and truant boys
Along the river's shady margin heard--
A harmony of noise--

A melody of wrangling voices blent
With liquid laughter, and with rippling calls
Of piping lips and thrilling echoes sent
To mimic waterfalls.

And through the hazy veil the atmosphere
Has draped about the gleaming face of Day,
The sifted glances of the sun appear
In splinterings of spray.

The dusty highway, like a cloud of dawn,
Trails o'er the hillside, and the passer-by,
A tired ghost in misty shroud, toils on
His journey to the sky.

And down across the valley's drooping sweep,
Withdrawn to farthest limit of the glade,
The forest stands in silence, drinking deep
Its purple wine of shade.

The gossamer floats up on phantom wing;
The sailor-vision voyages the skies
And carries into chaos everything
That freights the weary eyes:

Till, throbbing on and on, the pulse of heat
Increases--reaches--passes fever's height,
And Day sinks into slumber, cool and sweet,
Within the arms of Night.

 

 
James Whitcomb Riley (7 oktober 1849 – 22 juli 1916)
Greenfield, Indiana, de geboorteplaats van James Whitcomb Riley

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30-08-16

Charles Reznikoff, Jiři Orten, François Cheng, Libu¨e Moníková, Gisela von Arnim, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Adam Kuckhoff, Michael Speier

 

De Amerikaanse dichter Charles Reznikoff werd op 30 augustus 1894 in New York geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 augustus 2010 en alle tags voor Charles Reznikoff op dit blog.

 

Depression

So proudly she came into the subway car
all who were not reading their newspapers saw
the head high and the slow tread—
coat wrinkled and her belongings in a paper bag,
face unwashed and the grey hair uncombed;

simple soul, who so early in the morning when only the
poorest go to work,
stood up in the subway and outshouting the noise:
'Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, I have a baby at home who
is sick,
and I have no money, no job;' who did not have box or cap
to take coins—
only his hands,
and, seeing only faces turned away,
did not even go down the aisle as beggars do;

the fire had burnt through the floor:
machines and merchandise had fallen into
the great hole, this zero that had sucked away so many years
and now, seen at last, the shop itself;
the ceiling sloped until it almost touched the floor a strange curve
in the lines and oblongs of his life;
drops were falling
from the naked beams of the floor above,
from the soaked plaster, still the ceiling;
drops of dirty water were falling
on his clothes and hat and on his hands;
the thoughts of business
gathered in his bosom like black water

in footsteps through a swamp;
waiting for a job, she studied the dusty table at which she sat
and the floor which had been badly swept—
the office-boy had left the corners dirty;
a mouse ran in and out under the radiator
and she drew her feet away
and her skirt about her legs, but the mouse went in and out
about its business; and she sat waiting for a job
in an unfriendly world of men and mice;

walking along the drive by twos and threes,
talking about jobs,
jobs they might never get and jobs they had had,
never turning to look at the trees or the river
glistening in the sunlight or the automobiles
that went swiftly past them—
in twos and threes talking about jobs;

in the drizzle
four in a row
close to the curb
that passers-by might pass,
the squads stand
waiting for soup,
a slice of bread
and shelter—
grimy clothes
their uniform;
on a stoop
stiffly across the steps
a man
who has fainted;
each in that battalion
eyes him,
but does not move from his place,
well drilled in want.

 

 
Charles Reznikoff (30 augustus 1894 – 22 januari 1976)

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