Uit: The Stranger’s Child
„She’d been lying in the hammock reading poetry for over an hour. It wasn’t easy: she was thinking all the while about George coming back with Cecil, and she kept sliding down, in small half-willing surrenders, till she was in a heap, with the book held tiringly above her face. Now the light was going, and the words began to hide among themselves on the page. She wanted to get a look at Cecil, to drink him in for a minute before he saw her, and was introduced, and asked her what she was reading. But he must have missed his train, or at least his connection: she saw him pacing the long platform at Harrow and Wealdstone, and rather regretting he’d come. Five minutes later, as the sunset sky turned pink above the rockery, it began to seem possible that something worse had happened. With sudden grave excitement she pictured the arrival of a telegram, and the news being passed round; imagined weeping pretty wildly; then saw herself describing the occasion to someone, many years later, though still without quite deciding what the news had been.
In the sitting-room the lamps were being lit, and through the open window she could hear her mother talking to Mrs. Kalbeck, who had come to tea, and who tended to stay, having no one to get back for. The glow across the path made the garden suddenly lonelier. Daphne slipped out of the hammock, put on her shoes, and forgot about her books. She started towards the house, but something in the time of day held her, with its hint of a mystery she had so far overlooked: it drew her down the lawn, past the rockery, where the pond that reflected the trees in silhouette had grown as deep as the white sky. It was the long still moment when the hedges and borders turned dusky and vague, but anything she looked at closely, a rose, a begonia, a glossy laurel leaf, seemed to give itself back to the day with a secret throb of colour.“
Alan Hollinghurst (Stoud, 26 mei 1954)
Uit: Spectres (Vertaald door Barbara Romaine)
„The valley was full of ghosts. Silent ghosts that tilted with the setting sun to settle in their turn into the depths of the earth, where the shrouded river carried them on boats in its headlong course toward the east. Silence. Then a sound—faint at first and then rising, it would still be echoing in the valley years hence.
She heard only the three that particularly concerned her: her husband and her two brothers. They had gone, and would not return. The door was closed upon their voices, closed tightly and locked with a key secured within her breast. She carried on. She was twenty-five years old, she had two children and a third still in her belly. Six months later she gave birth to a girl.
“I will tend the little ones and my bit of land, and it is no one’s business but my own.”
Her cousins hated her independence, hated her refusal to marry any of them, and then they hated her capability in managing her own affairs day by day, as if she were not a woman. Even when their anger subsided—the open and the covert hostility—still they kept watching her, waiting out the test of time, to prove to her and to themselves that it was futile to try to break with the customs established by their fathers and grandfathers. She disappointed them. She raised the children, and their needs were met. Still the men’s eyes followed her. She was beautiful, and her inaccessibility only made her more appealing. She did not miss out on participating in celebrations and lamentations: she sang at weddings, and at funerals she surpassed the professional mourners, no matter how much they improvised.
“Shagar is stubborn and arrogant!”
“Shagar is strong, above shame!”
They calmed down, and once again made a place for her among them; she accompanied the women carrying jars of water from the river or going to it with their tubs for the washing. Those men who had desired her, or loved her regardless, concealed their desire, pretending to forget it until it seemed, in fact, forgotten.“
Radwa Ashour (Caïro, 26 mei 1946)
van A naar M loopt de rechte(fragment)
Het trapeziumvormig vlak boven een rechte verdwijnt langzaam, wordt
Het blijft zichtbaar onmerkbaar.
Een punt zet zich in beweging bij S en schuift zichzelf zijnde vooruit.
Tot het vertraagt.
Tot het vertraagt en stilhoudt.
En plots zich splitst.
Twee uiterst kleine prisma’s zijn het nu, die zich van mekaar verwijde-
ren, het ene steil omhoogstijgend, het andere loodrecht naar beneden
de diepte in.
Het vacuum schijnt nu te beginnen daveren als de lucht in een wind-
tunnel, te wapperen tegen enorme snelheid, windgolven.
Maar alles is rustig stil.
En geen gerucht geen beweging meer. De tegenover elkaar liggende
pieken reiken tot in het niet, zijn volledig verdwenen.
Een concave welving ontstaat en verdwijnt links, terwijl ze later vol-
En aldus een bewegende welving.
Het net der lijnen ligt tegen veranderde achterruimte, overalruimte,
zwarte ruimte geworden.
Met grote open lichtplekken nabij of in de omgeving van john.
Een ribbeltracé gaat over in een kam, een rug, in andere dimensie.
Een grote berg van niets verrijst.
Soort klotsen, golven, kabbelen van water?
En plots is het daar, is het daar is Er iets het komt nader, rennend,
snellend het schiet vooruit naderend tegen onvoorstelbare snelheid, het
wervelt gloeiend het is er
de lijn in de nabijheid van ontbrandt en brandende lijn schiet recht
naar H’, verdwijnend van B weg naar F toe
Nu is de brandende weg.
Het schemer neemt andere eivorm aan.
Een grote, tot kleiner afmetingen krimpende schaal groeit tot een verte,
gelijktijdig, mindert tot een ander niets gelijktijdig.
De ovaal van tussenlicht neemt inhoud, al de lijnen beginnen te be-
wegen in zichzelf, op te rukken in zichzelf, zijn bewegend tussen hun
Zijn snellend zichzelf onbewogen snellend.
Het schemeren versterkt donkerend.
Een lichtpuntje ontstaat, zwelt, omvat.
Het lichtpunt is het net, de lijnen de niveaus
de gloeiing, de parabool, de kruisende hyperbolen, het
Hugo Raes (Antwerpen, 26 mei 1929)
Advice To a Butterfly
Aimless petal of the wind,
Spinning gently weird circles,
To the flowers underneath
You are a drunken king of motion;
To the plunging winds above
You are momentary indecision.
Aimless petal of the wind,
Waver carelessly against this June.
The universe, like you, is but
The drowsy arm of stillness
Spinning gently weird circles in his sleep.
Advice To a Forest
O trees, to whom the darkness is a child
Scampering in and out of your long, green beards;
O trees, to whom sunlight is a tattered pilgrim
Counting his dreams within your hermitage
And slipping down the road, in twilight robes;
O trees, whose leaves make an incense of sound
Reeling with the beat of your caught feet,
Do not mingle your tips in startled hatred,
When little men come to fell you.
These men will saw you into strips
Of pointed brooding, blind with paint,
But underneath you men will chase
The grey staccato of their lives
Down a glaring maze of walls
Much harder than your own.
And when, at last, the deep brown gaze
Of stolidly amorous time steals over you,
The little men who bit into your hearts
Will stray off in a patter of rabbits’ feet.
Look down upon these children then
With the aloof and weary tolerance
That all still things possess,
O trees, to whom the darkness was a child
Scampering in and out of your long, green beards.
Maxwell Bodenheim (26 mei 1892 – 6 februari 1954)