Bij Sint Maarten, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Mircea Dinescu, Carlos Fuentes

Bij Sint Maarten



Sint Maarten verdeelt de mantel door Anthony van Dyck, rond 1618



St. Martin’s Day

In damp dark, we parents and children
line up in groups behind teachers
in the Pausenhof of the Grundschule

to walk in procession to the park
behind the baroque palace. As we
move forward in unison, we sing songs

to celebrate the legend of a knight on horseback
who cut his cloak in half with his sword
to comfort a beggar on foot. The children

carry tiny flames through the dark
in lanterns they have made in school
and hooked to the end of sticks.

“Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne,”
they sing. In Elizabeth’s blue box burns
a candle illuminating a paper angel, an apple,

a moon, and a star cut out in construction
paper she glued together. Before the arched
Orangerie in the park, the children stand

in semicircles to sing. Some play recorders,
some play violins, some tap rhythm
on tambourines. Behind them, facing

us parents, is a big illuminated sheet,
before which silhouetted children
actors mime the action of Martin

and his beggar as classmates narrate their
lines. At the end, all sing the round
“Hebet die Laterne / Lift the lanterns,”

repeat the refrain “Licht zu bringen
in dieser Welt / To bring light into this
world,” and follow a rider on horseback

into the dark. As they wind along geometric
walkways in the Schlosspark, stringing
beads of light through the dark with their

handmade lanterns, I remember the first question
Elizabeth asked after we arrived in Erlangen:
“Daddy, do they celebrate Chanukah here?”

Fifty years after the Kristallnacht, I see
burning beads of light along looping walkways
merge into the menorah held in uplifted hands.



Norbert Krapf (Jasper, 14 november 1943)


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Hans Magnus Enzensberger werd geboren op 11 november 1929 in Kaufbeuren. Zie ook mijn blog van 11 november 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Hans Magnus Enzensberger op dit blog.



Die Seife

Wie stolz sie war, wie üppig sie anfangs
geduftet hat! Durch wie viele Hände
sie gegangen ist, wie entsagungsvoll
sie gedient hat, und immer von neuem
war da der Dreck. Unbefleckt
ist sie geblieben. Klaglos
hat sie sich selber verzehrt. So ist sie immer kleiner und kleiner
geworden, unmerklich, dünn
beinahe durchsichtig, bis sie eines Morgens
vollkommen verschwunden war.




verteidigung der wölfe gegen die lämmer


soll der geier vergißmeinnicht fressen?

was verlangt ihr vom schakal,

daß er sich häute; vom wolf? soll

er sich selber ziehen die zähne?

was gefällt euch nicht

an politruks und an päpsten,

was guckt ihr blöd aus der wäsche

auf den verlogenen bildschirm?


wer näht denn dem general

den blutstreif an seine hosen? wer

zerlegt vor dem wucherer den kapaun?

wer hängt sich stolz das blechkreuz

vor den knurrenden nabel? wer

nimmt das trinkgeld, den silberling,

den schweigepfennig? es gibt

viel bestohlene, wenig diebe; wer

applaudiert ihnen denn, wer

lechzt denn nach lüge?


seht in den spiegel: feig,

scheuend die mühsal der wahrheit,

dem lernen abgeneigt, das denken

überantwortend den wölfen,

der nasenring euer teuerster schmuck,

keine täuschung zu dumm, kein trost

zu billig, jede erpressung

ist für euch noch zu milde.


ihr lämmer, schwestern sind,

mit euch verglichen, die krähen:

ihr blendet einer den andern.

brüderlichkeit herrscht

unter den wölfen:

sie gehen in rudeln.


gelobt sei´n die räuber; ihr,

einladend zur vergewaltigung,

werft euch aufs faule bett

des gehorsams, winselnd noch

lügt ihr, zerrissen

wollt ihr werden, ihr

ändert die welt nicht mehr.



Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Kaufbeuren,11 november 1929)

Eind jaren vijftig




De Roemeense dichter en schrijver Mircea Dinescu werd geboren op 11 november 1950 in Slobozia. Zie ook mijn blog van 11 november 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Mircea Dinescu op dit blog.



Token Ceremony at the Burial of a Submarine from between the Two Wars

From the day I was born
I’ve been putting my whimpers
in the service of artists destroyed through starvation.
Had I been preserved in an alcohol cylinder
I could have turned my back on you for evermore,
yet I don’t know by what occult means
doubt has been limping right behind me
and here I am today like a fool in a ship
praying, “Lord, give me a ship,”
or like some extraordinary midwife
ready to deliver the porter out of the priest without pain.
The thread of Arianne’s stocking in hand,
off I go dressed in a heavy army coat
watching the world through my top boots
as if they were two periscopes turned the other way round.




Mircea Dinescu (Slobozia, 11 november 1950)




De Mexicaanse dichter en schrijver Carlos Fuentes Macías werd geboren op 11 november 1928 in Panama-Stad. Carlos Fuentes overleed op de 15e mei van dit jaar. Zie ook mijn blog van 11 november 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Carlos Fuentes op dit blog.


Uit:Destiny and Desire (Vertaald door Edith Grossman)


“This is the organ of touch that covers my whole body and extends inside it with acts of anal mischief both modest and permissible if I compare them to the female gender’s major jokes, the incessant entering and leaving of foreign bodies (notoriously the male’s penis and sacredly the body of a child, while from my masculine wrappings only semen and urine come out in front and in back, just like chez la femme, shit and in cases of constipation, the deep communion of the suppository). Now I hum: “The bullock shits, so does the bird, and the best-looking babe will drop her turd.” Broad, generous entrances and exits in the woman. Narrow, mean ones in the man: the urethra, the anus, urine, shit. The names are clear and brutal, the nicknames obscure and laughable: Bellini’s duct, Henle’s loop, Bowman’s capsule, Malpighi’s glomerulus. Dangers: anuria and uremia. No urine. Urine in the blood. I avoided them. In the end, everything in life is avoidable except death.
I used to sweat. In life my entire body would sweat except for my eyelids and the edge of my lips. My sweat was clean, salty, with no bad odor, though sweating and urinating were human products distinguishable by the different quality of their smell.
I never needed deodorants. I had noble, clean armpits. My urine did smell bad, of abandoned hovels and lightless caves. My shit varied according to circumstances, depending especially on diet. Mexican food brings us dangerously close to diarrhea, North American to stomach cramps, British to constipation. Only Mediterranean cuisine assures us of a healthy balance between what comes in…”



Carlos Fuentes (11 november 1928 – 15 mei 2012)




Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 11e november ook mijn blog van 11 november 2012.