Berthold Brecht, William Wordsworth, Victoria Ocampo, Gabriela Mistral, Donald Barthelme

Bij Stille Zaterdag

Giotto, Bewening van Christus, ca 1304 – 1306,

Padua, Capella Scrovegni


Karsamstaglegende – Den Verwaisten gewidmet”

Seine Dornenkrone
Nahmen sie ab
Legten ihn ohne
die Würde ins Grab.

Als sie gehetzt und müde
andern Abends wieder zum Grabe kamen
siehe, da blühte
aus dem Hügel jenes Dornes Samen.

Und in den Blüten, abendgrau verhüllt
sang wunderleise
eine Drossel süss und mild
eine helle Weise.

Da fühlten sie kaum
mehr den Tod am Ort
sahen über Zeit und Raum
lächelten im hellen Traum
gingen träumend fort.

Berthold Brecht (10 februari 1898 – 14 augustus 1956)

Brecht-Haus in Berlin-Weißensee


De Engelse dichter William Wordsworth werd geboren op 7 april 1770 in Cumberland. Zie ook alle tags voor William Wordsworth op dit blog.

A Complaint

There is a change–and I am poor;
Your love hath been, nor long ago,
A fountain at my fond heart’s door,
Whose only business was to flow;
And flow it did; not taking heed
Of its own bounty, or my need.

What happy moments did I count!
Blest was I then all bliss above!
Now, for that consecrated fount
Of murmuring, sparkling, living love,
What have I? Shall I dare to tell?
A comfortless and hidden well.

A well of love–it may be deep–
I trust it is,–and never dry:
What matter? If the waters sleep
In silence and obscurity.
–Such change, and at the very door
Of my fond heart, hath made me poor.


Calm is all Nature as a Resting Wheel

Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
The kine are couched upon the dewy grass;
The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,
Is cropping audibly his later meal:
Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
O’er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.
Now, in this blank of things, a harmony,
Home-felt, and home-created, comes to heal
That grief for which the senses still supply
Fresh food; for only then, when memory
Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends! restrain
Those busy cares that would allay my pain;
Oh! leave me to myself, nor let me feel
The officious touch that makes me droop again.

William Wordsworth (7 april 1770 – 23 april 1850)

Portret door Richard Carruthers


De Chileense dichteres en diplomate Gabriela Mistral werd geboren in Vicuña, Chili op 7 april 1889. Zie ook alle tags voor Gabriela Mistral op dit blog.


The Alpaca

She is harnessed for a long journey; on her back she carries an entire store of wool.
She walks without rest, and sees with eyes full of strangeness. The wool merchant has forgotten to come to get her, and she is ready.
In this world, nothing comes better equipped than the alpaca; ones is more burdened with rags than the next. Her sky-high softness is such that if a newborn is placed on her back, he will not feel a bone of the animal.
The weather is very hot. Today, large scissors that will cut and cut represent mercy for the alpaca.
When something is lost in the park, to whom do we look but this ever-prepared beast which seems to secretly carry all things?
And when children think about the objects they have lost—dolls, teddy bears, flying rats, trees with seven voices (they can be hidden in only one place)—they remember the alpaca, their infinitely prepared companion.
But look at those eyes, those astonished eyes without knowledge; they only ask why she has been harnessed for such a long trip and why no one comes to relieve her.
The high plateau is to blame for this tragedy—the mother alpaca incessantly stares at it. The mountain was also casting off burdens, and so its summit became clear, and filled the eyes of the mother alpaca.
She was taken down from the plateau and situated near a nonsensical horizon, and when she turns her neck, she continues looking for the older alpaca, for the one who sheds a pack on high, and returns to the sun’s radiance.
“What have you and I done to our Andean cordillera?” I ask the alpaca.”


Gabriela Mistral (7 april 1889 – 10 januari 1957)


De Argentijnse schrijjfster Victoria Ocampo werd geboren op 7 april 1890 in Buenos Aires. Zie ook alle tags voor Victoria Ocampo op dit blog.


Uit: Fiona G. Parrot: Friendship, Letters and Butterflies: Victoria Ocampo and Virginia Woolf

When Ocampo offered to translate Woolf’s work into Spanish, Woolf, initially suspicious of the idea, could not understand why or how the South American public would be interested in an English woman’s fiction. But Ocampo’s tenacity was unrelenting and she argued that if one Argentine woman could be stimulated, then so could others. Eventually, Woolf succumbed, and Ocampo published Borges’s translations of A Room of One’s Own, Orlando, To the Lighthouse, and Mrs. Dalloway. Woolf expressed tepid pleasure in the translations through letters to Ocampo and her thoughts on the matter ended there. In Woolf’s biographies by both Hermione Lee and James King, information on their relationship as well as the translations is sparse, limited to a few tidy pages.

The blossoming friendship was ultimately suspended when Ocampo invited herself to Tavistock Square in June of 1939. Without permission or warning, she brought the photographer Gisèle Freund along with her to photograph Woolf. Perhaps she had remembered that magical evening in 1934 at Man Ray’s exhibition when he requested a similar favour? Perhaps she was oblivious to the fact that Woolf hated sitting for photographs and had previously declined Freund’s propositions of sitting?

But if Ocampo knew Woolf as well as she thought, then she should have realised such an act would send her into deep distress. Ocampo wrote: ‘I had sacrificed the pleasure of talking with [Freund] along because it seemed essential that there should be some good pictures of [Woolf] in that period of her life.“


Victoria Ocampo (7 april 1890 – 27 januari 1979)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Donald Barthelme werd geboren op 7 april 1931 in Philadelphia. Zie ookalle tags voor Donald Barthelme op dit blog.


Uit: Game

„Each of us wears a .45 and each of us is supposed to shoot the other if the other is behaving strangely. How strangely is strangely? I do not know. In addition to the .45 I have a .38 which Shotwell does not know about concealed in my attaché case, and Shotwell has a .25 caliber Beretta which I do not know about strapped to his right calf. Sometimes instead of watching the console I pointedly watch Shotwell’s .45, but this is simply a ruse, simply a maneuver, in reality I am watching his hand when it dangles in the vicinity of his right calf. If he decides I am behaving strangely he will shoot me not with the .45 but with the Beretta. Similarly Shotwell pretends to watch my .45 but he is really watching my hand resting idly atop my attaché case, my hand resting atop my attaché case, my hand. My hand resting idly atop my attaché case.

In the beginning I took care to behave normally. So did Shotwell. Our behavior was painfully normal. Norms of politeness, consideration, speech and personal habits were scrupulously observed. But then it became apparent that an error had been made, that our relief was not going to arrive. Owing to an oversight. Owing to an oversight we have been here for one hundred thirty-three days. When it became clear that an error had been made, that we were not to be relieved, the norms were relaxed. Definitions of normality were redrawn in the agreement of January 1, called by us, The Agreement. Uniform regulations were relaxed, and mealtimes are no longer rigorously scheduled. We eat when we are hungry and sleep when we are tired.“


Donald Barthelme (7 april 1931 – 23 juli 1989)



Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 7e april ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.