Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Nawal el Saadawi, Zadie Smith, Enid Bagnold, Albrecht Rodenbach, Fran Lebowitz, Reza Allamehzadeh, Kazimierz Brandys

De Engelse dichter Dylan Thomas werd geboren op 27 oktober 1914 in Swansea in Wales. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.
It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero’s garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.
We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows – eternal, ever since Wednesday – that we never heard Mrs. Prothero’s first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or, if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor’s polar cat. But soon the voice grew louder.
“Fire!” cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.”


Dylan Thomas (27 oktober 1914 – 9 november 1953)
Standbeeld in Swansea Marine


De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sylvia Plath werd geboren op 27 oktober 1932 in Jamaica Plain, een buitenwijk van Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.


Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new

Whose names you meditate —
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

Sonnet : To Eva

All right, let’s say you could take a skull and break it
The way you’d crack a clock; you’d crush the bone
Between steel palms of inclination, take it,
Observing the wreck of metal and rare stone.

This was a woman : her loves and stratagems
Betrayed in mute geometry of broken
Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims,
And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken.

Not man nor demigod could put together
The scraps of rusted reverie, the wheels
Of notched tin platitudes concerning weather,
Perfume, politics, and fixed ideals.

The idiot bird leaps up and drunken leans
To chirp the hour in lunatic thirteens..



This is the easy time, there is nothing doing.
I have whirled the midwife’s extractor,
I have my honey,
Six jars of it,
Six cat’s eyes in the wine cellar,

Wintering in a dark without window
At the heart of the house
Next to the last tenant’s rancid jam
and the bottles of empty glitters–
Sir So-and-so’s gin.

This is the room I have never been in
This is the room I could never breathe in.
The black bunched in there like a bat,
No light
But the torch and its faint

Chinese yellow on appalling objects–
Black asininity. Decay.
It is they who own me.
Neither cruel nor indifferent,

Only ignorant.
This is the time of hanging on for the bees–the bees
So slow I hardly know them,
Filing like soldiers
To the syrup tin

To make up for the honey I’ve taken.
Tate and Lyle keeps them going,
The refined snow.
It is Tate and Lyle they live on, instead of flowers.
They take it. The cold sets in.

Now they ball in a mass,
Mind against all that white.
The smile of the snow is white.
It spreads itself out, a mile-long body of Meissen,

Into which, on warm days,
They can only carry their dead.
The bees are all women,
Maids and the long royal lady.
They have got rid of the men,

The blunt, clumsy stumblers, the boors.
Winter is for women–
The woman, still at her knitting,
At the cradle of Spanis walnut,
Her body a bulb in the cold and too dumb to think.

Will the hive survive, will the gladiolas
Succeed in banking their fires
To enter another year?
What will they taste of, the Christmas roses?
The bees are flying. They taste the spring.


Sylvia Plath (27 oktober 1932 – 11 februari 1963)


De Egyptische schrijfster, gynaecologe, moslimfeministe en politiek activiste Nawal el Saadawi werd geboren in Kafr Tahla op 27 oktober 1931. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: Woman at Point Zero

“A little boy called Mohammadain used to pinch me under water and follow me into the small shelter made of maize stalks. He would make me lie down beneath a pile of straw, and lift up my galabeya. We played at ‘bride and bridegroom’. From some part of my body, where, exactly I did not know, would come a sensation of sharp pleasure. Later I would close my eyes and feel with my hand for the exact spot. The moment I touched it, I would realize that I had felt the sensation before. Then we would start to play again until the sun went down, and we could hear his father’s voice calling to him from the neighbouring field.”


“To knead the dough, I squatted on the ground with the trough between my legs. At regular intervals I lifted the elastic mass up into the air and let it fall back into the trough. The heat of the oven was full on my face, singeing the edges of my hair. My galabeya often slipped up my thighs, but I paid no attention until the moment when I would glimpse my uncle’s hand moving slowly from behind the book he was reading to touch my leg. The next moment I could feel it travelling up my thigh with a cautious, stealthy, trembling movement. Every time there was the sound of a footstep at the entrance to our house, his hand would withdraw quickly. But whenever everything around us lapsed into silence, broken only every now and then by the snap of dry twigs between my fingers as I fed the oven, and the sound of his regular breathing reaching me from behind the book so that I could not tell whether he was snoring quietly in his sleep or wide awake and panting, his hand could continue to press against my thigh with a grasping, almost brutal insistence.”


Nawal el Saadawi (Kafr Tahla, 27 oktober 1931)


De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: The Autograph Man

„You’re either for me or against me, thought Alex-Li Tandem, referring to the daylight and, more generally, to the day. He stretched flat and made two fists. He was fully determined to lie right here until he was given something to work with, something noble, something fine. He saw no purpose in leaving his bed for a day that was against him from the get-go. He had tried it before; no good could come from it.
A moment later he was surprised to feel a flush of warm light dappled over him, filtered through a blind. Nonviolent light. This was encouraging. Compare and contrast with yesterday morning’s light, pettily fascist, cruel as the strip lighting in a hospital hallway. Or the morning before yesterday morning, when he had kept his eyes closed for the duration, afraid of whatever was causing that ominous red throb beneath the eyelids. Or the morning before that, the Morning of Doom, which no one could have supposed would continue for seventy-two hours.
NOW OPTIMISTIC, ALEX grabbed the bauble that must be twisted to open blinds. His fingers were too sweaty. He shuttled up the bed, dried his left hand on the wall, gripped and pulled. The rain had come in the night. It looked as if the Flood had passed through Mountjoy, scrubbed it clean. The whole place seemed to have undergone an act of accidental restoration. He could see brickwork, newly red-faced and streaky as after a good weep, balconies with their clean crop of wet white socks, shirts and sheets. Shiny black aerials. Oh, it was fine. Collected water had transformed every gutter, every depression in the pavement, into prism puddles. There were rainbows everywhere.

Alex took a minute to admire the gentle sun that kept its mildness even as it escaped a gray ceiling of cloud. On the horizon a spindly church steeple had been etched by a child over a skyline perfectly blue and flatly colored in. To the left of that sat the swollen cupola of a mosque, described with more skill. So people were off to see God, then, this morning. All of that was still happening. Alex smiled, weakly. He wished them well.“

Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)


De Belgische dichter en schrijver Albrecht Rodenbach werd geboren te Roeselare op 27 oktober 1856. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit de dichterliefde

Een knecht bemint een meiske,
’t bemint ene andere knecht,
die andere bemint nog ene andere
en stort zich met haar in de echt.

Uit wanhoop neemt het meiske,
goed kome het uit, een vent,
de eerste de gereedste;
de knecht, hij, is miscontent:

Dat is een oude historie,
maar ze is nog altijd nieuw,
en wie zij voorvalt gaat het
alsof men hem ’t hert doorhiew.



Het drijven watten wolkjes,
van zonnelicht doorboomd.
De jongeling ziet ze drijven
en droomt…
En onbewust elk wolkje na
drijft zachtjes een fantasia,
doch in de ruimte smelten bei
voorbij, voorbij,

Het drijven blanke zeilen,
waar ’t meer de hemel zoomt.
De jongeling ziet ze drijven
en droomt…
En onbewust elk schipje na
drijft zachtjes een fantasia,
doch over zee verzinken zij
voorbij, voorbij,

Het drijven wondere beelden,
van tovermacht omstroomd.
De jongeling ziet ze drijven
en droomt…
En elke omstraalde beeltnis na
ijlt jagend een fantasia,
doch naar de Lethe* spoeden zij
voorbij, voorbij,


Albrecht Rodenbach (27 oktober 1856 – 23 juni 1880)
Beeld in Roeselare


De Britse schrijfster Enid Algerine Bagnold werd geboren op 27 oktober 1889 in Rochester, Kent. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: A Diary Without Dates (1917)

“I suffer awfully from my language in this ward. I seem to be the only VAD nurse of whom they continually ask, “What say, nurse?’ It isn’t that I use long words, but my sentences seem to be inverted.
“An antitetanic injection for Corrigan,” said Sister. And I went to the dispensary to fetch the syringe and the needles.
“But has he any symptoms?” I asked. In the Tommies’ ward one dare ask anything; their isn’t that mystery which used to surround the officers’ illnesses.
“Oh, no,” she said, “it’s just that he hasn’t had his full amount in France.”
So I hunted up the spirit-lamp and we prepared it, talking of it.
But we forget to talk of it to Corrigan. The needle was into his shoulder before he knew why his shirt was held up.
His wrath came like an avalanche; the discipline of two years was forgotten, his Irish tongue was loosened. Sister shrugged her shoulders and laughed; I listened to him as I cleaned the syringe.
I gathered that it was the indignity that had shocked his sense of individual pride. “Treating me like a cow” I heard him say to Smiff – who laughed, since it wasn’t his shoulder that carried the serum.“


Enid Bagnold ( 27 oktober 1889 – 3 maart 1981)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz werd geboren op 27 oktober 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008

Uit: Taking a Letter

My neighborhood is located in Greenwich Village, a quarter of the city well known for its interesting artistic qualities. These qualities are to be found not only in its atmosphere and residents but also in its public servants. There is, in fact, not a single local postal employee who does not possess a temperament of such lush moodiness that one assumes that only an unfortunate lack of rhythm has kept them from careers devoted to the composition of tragic opera. Exhaustive research soon established that this was no accident but a carefully planned effort to bring the post office closer to those it serves. The Greenwich Village Postal System is a separate entity dedicated to the proposition that nowhere on earth are men created more equal than downtown on the West Side. Thus its offices exhibit a clean Bauhaus influence. The wanted posters refer to desires more personal than federal. Uniforms are chosen on the basis of cut and fabric. And they have punched up the official motto with the Greenwich Village Addendum so that it reads as follows: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can stay these couriers from swift completion of their appointed rounds. However, offended sensibility, painful memory, postman’s block, and previous engagements may stay the courier for an indefinite period of time. C’est la vie.”


Fran Lebowitz (Morristown, 27 oktober 1950)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

De Iraanse schrijver en filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh werd geboren op 27 oktober 1943 in Sari, Mazandaran.

De Poolse schrijver Kazimierz Brandys werd geboren op 27 oktober 1916 in Lodz.