Connie Willis, Giovanni Pascoli, August van Cauwelaert, Alexander Smith, Marie d’Agoult

De Amerikaanse (sciencefiction) schrijfster Connie Willis werd geboren in Denver (Colorado) op 31 december 1945. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 december 2009.


Uit: Blackout 


Colin tried the door, but it was locked. The porter, Mr. Purdy, obviously hadn’t known what he was talking about when he’d said Mr. Dunworthy had gone to Research. Blast it. I should have known he wasn’t here, Colin thought. Only historians prepping for assignments came to Research. Perhaps Mr. Dunworthy’d told Mr. Purdy he was going to do research, in which case he’d be in the Bodleian Library.
Colin went over to the Bodleian, but Mr. Dunworthy wasn’t there either. I’ll have to go ask his secretary, Colin thought, loping back to Balliol. He wished Finch was still Mr. Dunworthy’s secretary instead of this new person Eddritch, who would probably ask a lot of questions. Finch wouldn’t have asked any, and he’d have not only told him where Mr. Dunworthy was, but what sort of mood he was in.
Colin ran up to Mr. Dunworthy’s rooms first, on the off chance Mr. Purdy hadn’t seen Mr. Dunworthy come back in, but he wasn’t there either. Then he ran across to Beard, up the stairs, and into the outer office. “I need to see Mr. Dunworthy,” he said. “It’s important. Can you tell me where—?”
Eddritch looked at him coldly. “Did you have an appointment, Mr.—?”
“Templer,” Colin said. “No, I—”
“Are you an undergraduate here at Balliol?”
Colin debated saying yes, but Eddritch was the sort who would check to see if he was. “No, I will be next year.”
“If you’re applying to be a student at Oxford, you need the Provost’s Office in Longwall Street.”
“I’m not applying to be a student. I’m a friend of Mr. Dunworthy’s—”
“Oh, Mr. Dunworthy has told me about you.” He frowned. “I thought you were at Eton.”
“We’re on holiday,” Colin lied. “It’s vital that I see Mr. Dunworthy. If you could tell me where he—”
“What did you wish to see him about?”
My future, Colin thought. And it’s none of your business, but that obviously wouldn’t get him anywhere. “It’s in regard to an historical assignment. It’s urgent. If you could just tell me where he is, I—” he began, but Eddritch had already opened the appointment book. “Mr. Dunworthy can’t see you until the end of next week.”



Connie Willis (Denver, 31 december 1945)


De Italiaanse dichter Giovanni Pascoli werd geboren op 31 december 1855 in San Mauro di Romagna. Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 31 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 31 december 2008.



Last Dream


Out of a motionless infernal

shudder and clang of steel on steel

as wagons moved toward the eternal,

a sudden silence: I was healed.



The stormcloud of my sickness fled

on a breath. A flickering of eyes,

and I saw my mother by my bed

and gazed at her without surprise.



Free! Helpless, yes, to move the hands

clasped on my chest—but I had no

desire to move. The rustling sounds

(like cypress trees, like streams that flow



across vast prairies seeking seas

that don’t exist) were thin, insistent:

I followed after those vain sighs,

ever the same, ever more distant.



Vertaald door Geoffrey Brock


Giovanni Pascoli (31 december 1855 – 6 april 1912)



De Vlaamse dichter, advocaat en rechter
August van Cauwelaert werd geboren in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek op 31 december 1885. Zie
ook mijn blog van 31 december 2009.




Voor de Jongens die me droegen.

Mijn jongens, ver genoeg gedragen

Mijn wrak uit nachtelijken strijd;

Nu zullen andere armen schragen

Mijn wankelende krachtloosheid.


Laat neer den last, wij moeten scheiden.

Een hand, een groet en dan: vaarwel.

Ik ga Gods tragen dag verbeiden,

Gij keert ter daverende hel.


Lijk kindren uit één bloed verbonden

Ons eendre droom en eendre nood.

Toen schouder wij aan schouder stonden,

In ’t dreigend aanzicht van den dood.


Wij hebben saam ons brood gebroken,

Elkaar gereikt den broederdronk,

En, trouw den zwijgende ‘eed, gewroken

Wie stervend voor ons vaandel zonk.


Maar wie zal u naar ’t vuur nu leiden

En voeren naar de zegepraal?

Mijn jongens, gaat, en God bevrijde

Uw leven voor het vliegend staal.


August van Cauwelaert (31 december 1885 – 4 juli 1945)




De Schotse dichter Alexander Smith werd geboren op 31 december 1830 in Kilmarnock. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 december 2009.




Beauty still walketh on the earth and air,

Our present sunsets are as rich in gold

As ere the Iliad’s music was out-roll’d;

The roses of the Spring are ever fair,

’Mong branches green still ring-doves coo and pair,

And the deep sea still foams its music old.

So, if we are at all divinely soul’d,

This beauty will unloose our bonds of care.

’T is pleasant, when blue skies are o’er us bending

Within old starry-gated Poesy,

To meet a soul set to no worldly tune,

Like thine, sweet Friend! Oh, dearer this to me

Than are the dewy trees, the sun, the moon,

Or noble music with a golden ending.



Alexander Smith (31 december 1830 – 5 januari 1867)



De Franse schrijfster gravin Marie de Flavigny d’Agoult werd in 1805 geboren in Frankfurt Am Main. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 december 2009.


Uit: Lélia ou la vie de George Sand


“Ma belle comtesse aux beaux cheveux blonds. Je ne vous connais pas personnellement, mais j’ai entendu Franz parler de vous et je vous ai vue. Je crois que, d’après cela, je puis sans folie vous dire que je vous aime ; que vous me semblez la seule chose belle, estimable et vraiment noble que j’ai vu briller dans la sphère patricienne. Il faut que vous soyez en effet bien puissante pour que j’aie oublié que vous êtes comtesse. Mais, à présent, vous êtes pour moi le véritable type de la princesse fantastique, aimante, artiste et noble de manières, de langages et d’ajustements, comme les filles des rois au temps poétique. “


Marie d’Agoult (31 december 1805 – 5 maart 1876)