Cecil Day Lewis, Mary Wollstonecraft, Hans Bemmann, August Wilson, Fethullah Gülen, Martin Gray

De Brits-Ierse dichter Cecil Day Lewis werd geboren in Ballintogher, Ierland, op 27 april 1904. Zie ook alle tags voor Cecil Day Lewis op dit blog.

My Mother’s Sister


I see her against the pearl sky of Dublin

Before the turn of the century, a young woman

With all those brothers and sisters, green eyes, hair

She could sit on; for high life, a meandering sermon


(Church of Ireland) each Sunday, window-shopping

In Dawson Street, picnics at Killiney and Howth…

To know so little about the growing of one

Who was angel and maid-of-all work to my growth!


– Who, her sister dying, took on the four-year

Child, and the chance that now she would never make

A child of her own; who, mothering me, flowered in

The clover-soft authority of the meek.


Who, exiled, gossiping home chat from abroad

In roundhand letters to a drift of relations –

Squires’, Goldsmiths, Overends, Williams’ – sang the songs

Of Zion in a strange land.  Hers the patience


Of one who made no claims, but simply loved

Because that was her nature, and loving so

Asked no more than to be repaid in kind.

If she was not a saint, I do not know


What saints are…Buying penny toys at Christmas

(The most a small purse could afford) to send her

Nephews and nieces, sh’d never have thought the shop

Could shine for me one day in Bethlehem splendour.


Exiled again, after ten years, my father

Remarrying, she faced the bitter test

Of charity – to abdicate in love’s name

From love’s contentful duties.  A distressed


Gentle woman housekeeping for strangers;

Later, companion to a droll recluse

Clergyman brother in rough-pastured Wexford,

She lived for all she was worth – to be of use.


She bottle plums, she visited parishioners.

A plain habit of innocence, a faith

Mildly forbearing, made her one of those

Who, we were promised, shall inherit the earth


…Now, sunk in one small room of a Rathmines

Old people’s home, helpless, beyond speech

Or movement, yearly deeper she declines

To imbecility – my last link with childhood.


The battery’s almost done: yet if I press

The button hard – some private joke in boyhood

I teased her with – there comes upon her face

A glowing of the old, enchanted smile.


So, still alive, she rots.  A heart of granite

Would melt at this unmeaning sequel, Lord,

How can this be justified, how can it

Be justified?



Cecil Day Lewis (27 april 1904 – 22 mei 1972)


De Engelse schrijfster en feministe Mary Wollstonecraft werd geboren in Hoxton (nu Londen) op 27 april 1759. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 april 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 april 2010.


Uit: Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman


“Abodes of horror have frequently been described, and castles, filled with spectres and chimeras, conjured up by the magic spell of genius to harrow the soul, and absorb the wondering mind. But, formed of such stuff as dreams are made of, what were they to the mansion of despair, in one corner of which Maria sat, endeavouring to recall her scattered thoughts!

Surprise, astonishment, that bordered on distraction, seemed to have suspended her faculties, till, waking by degrees to a keen sense of anguish, a whirlwind of rage and indignation roused her torpid pulse.

One recollection with frightful velocity following another, threatened to fire her brain, and make her a fit companion for the terrific inhabitants, whose groans and shrieks were no unsubstantial sounds of

whistling winds, or startled birds, modulated by a romantic fancy, which amuse while they affright; but such tones of misery as carry a dreadful certainty directly to the heart. What effect must they then have produced on one, true to the touch of sympathy, and tortured by maternal


Her infant’s image was continually floating on Maria’s sight, and the first smile of intelligence remembered, as none but a mother, an unhappy mother, can conceive. She heard her half speaking half cooing, and felt the little twinkling fingers on her burning bosom–a bosom bursting with the nutriment for which this cherished child might now be pining in vain. From a stranger she could indeed receive the maternal aliment, Maria was grieved at the thought–but who would watch her with a

mother’s tenderness, a mother’s self-denial?”



Mary Wollstonecraft (27 april 1759 – 10 september 1797)

Portret door John Opie, 1797


De Oostenrijkse schrijver
Hans Bemmann werd geboren op 27 april 1922 in Groitzsch nabij Leipzig. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 april 2009.


Uit: Stein und Flöte


“Aber er fragte sich auch, wohin man geraten mochte, wenn man an der Verlässlichkeit seines eigenen Verstandes zu zweifeln begann. Wonach sollte man sich richten, wenn nirgends eine greifbare Wegmarke den Horizont in messbare Abschnitte gliederte? Das würde sein, als ritte man ohne Weg und Ziel über die grenzenlose Steppe, und selbst dort gab es ja noch das ewig kreisende Muster der Gestirne, das dem Kundigen die Richtung wies, wenn er bereit war, sich den Gesetzen ihrer Bewegung anzuvertrauen. Was aber, wenn diese Lichtpunkte einmal ihre geregelte Bahn verlassen sollten? Wer sagt einem, dass sie dies nicht schon längst getan hatten, ohne dass man es hätte merken können?”



Hans Bemmann (27 april 1922 – 1 april 2003)




De Amerikaanse toneelschrijver August Wilson (eig. Frederick August Kittel) werd geboren op 27 april 1945 in Pittsbugh. Zie ook alle tags voor August Wilson op dit blog.

Uit: Fences


“Okay, Troy…you’re right. I’ll take care of your baby for you…cause…like you say…she’s innocent…and you can’t visit the sins of the father upon the child. A motherless child has got a hard time. From right now…this child got a mother. But you a womanless man.”



“Don’t you think I ever wanted other things? Don’t you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me. Don’t you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make me laugh so I could feel good? You not the only one who’s got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams…and I buried them inside you. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom. And it didn’t take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn’t never gonna bloom.”



August Wilson (27 april 1945 – 2 oktober 2005)

Scene uit „Fences“ met Danzel Washington en Viola Davis, Broadway, 2010 




De Turkse prediker, schrijver en dichter Fethullah Gülen werd geboren in Korucuk, Erzurum, op 27 april 1941Zie ook alle tags voor Fethullah Gülen op dit blog.

Dawn Comes in Dreams

The spirit wanders through the night
To find a way out
Toward that which it seeks and longs for
Travels with the hope of recovering what is lost

Travels from the reason to the heart
To bereft of power
To distinguish the hopeful
from among the hopeless causes
There’s a cold war between realities and imaginings

Dawn comes in dreams
When everything turns pale in the dead hours of the night
Dawn comes in dreams

Dreams are always vivid
Full of color
There when a man looks deep
Into unfathomed oceans
Beholds the past
The far future and what is near to come
What is old about to be replaced or renewed?

Dawn comes in dreams
When realities are too dark to endure
Dawn comes in dreams

In darkness a man suffers
The extreme of loneliness
When mouths are tight-lipped
As if zip-fastened
He wishes to sprout wings and fly
To the realms beyond and fly

Dawn comes in dreams
When events begin to drive me to give up hope
Dawn comes in dreams


Fethullah Gülen (Korucuk, 27 april 1941)


De Poolse schrijver
Martin Gray werd geboren als Mietek Grayewski in Warschauop 27 april 1922. Zie ook alle tags voor Martinn Gray op dit blog.

Uit: Au Nom de Tous les Miens


“Parfois, nous allions vers la Vistule en suivant les Allées de Jérusalem jusqu’au pont Poniatowski. Nous traversions les jardins Krasinski. Des Juifs marchandaient entre eux. Ils me semblaient toujours vêtus des mêmes pardessus noirs, ils étaient pauvres. Mais je ne savais pas ce qu’était la pauvreté. Je ne savais même pas vraiment que nous étions juifs. Nous célébrions les grandes fêtes mais nous avions des catholiques dans notre famille. Nous étions entre les deux religions et mon père, grand, droit, avec sa main forte, me paraissait être à lui seul le début du monde. Nous rentrions, je traînais dans l’Ogrod Saski, les derniers jardins avant la rue Senatorska. Chez nous. Mon père ouvrait la porte : je me souviens encore d’une odeur douce, des cris de mes deux frères. Ma mère était là et la table mise. C’était avant ma naissance, bien avant, une époque de beau temps qui s’acheva avec l’été 1939.
Brusquement, la guerre. Mon père est en uniforme d’officier, il me prend par les épaules et je me rends compte que je suis presque aussi grand que lui. Nous laissons ma mère et mes deux frères à la maison et nous partons, tous les deux, vers la gare. Dans les rues tout est déjà différent : des soldats en groupes, des camions, les premières queues devant les magasins. Nous marchons côte à côte sur la chaussée, épaule contre épaule, il ne me tient plus par la main : je suis un homme. Il m’a crié quelque chose de la fenêtre de son wagon que je n’ai pas entendu et je me suis retrouvé seul dans la rue. Il me semble que c’est ce jour-là que nous avons eu le premier bombardement : j’ai regardé les bombardiers argentés à croix noire qui volaient bas, en formation de trois.
– Rentre ici.
Un policier polonais hurlait dans ma direction depuis un porche où s’agglutinaient des passants affolés.
Je me suis mis à courir dans la rue déserte : il faut que je rentre chez moi, je n’obéis à personne.”


Martin Gray (Warschau, 27 april 1922)