Graham Greene, Andreas Gryphius, Goran Sonnevi

De Engelse schrijver Graham Greene werd geboren op 2 oktober 1904 Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 oktober 2006.


Uit: Travels with my aunt


“Mr Visconti was a good catholic, but he was very very anti-clerical, and yet in the end it was the priesthood which saved him. He went to a clerical store in Rome, when the Allies were coming close, and he paid a fortune to be fitted out like a monsignor even to the purple socks. He said that a friend of his had lost all his clothes in a bombing raid and they pretended to believe him. Then he went with a suitcase to the lavatory in the Excelsior Hotel, where we had given all those cocktail parties to the cardinals, and changed. He kept away from the reception-desk, but he was unwise enough to look in at the bar – the barman, he knew, was very old and short-sighted. Well, you know, in those days a lot of girls used to come to the bar to pick up German officers. One of the girls – I suppose it was the approach of the Allied troops that did it – was having a crise de conscience. She wouldn’t go to her friend’s bedroom, she regretted her lost purity, she would never sin again. The officer plied her with more and more cocktails, but with every drink she became more religious. Then she spied Mr Visconti, who was having a quick whisky in a shady corner. “Father,” she cried to him, “hear my confession.”

So off went Mr Visconti with the hysterical girl – he remembered just in time to put down his whisky. He had no choice, though he hadn’t been to confession himself for thirty years and he had never learnt the priest’s part. Luckily there was an air-conditioner in the room breathing heavily, and that obscured his whispers, and the girl was too much concerned with her role to pay much attention to his. She began right away; Mr Visconti had hardly time to sit on the bed, pushing aside a steel helmet and a bottle of schnapps, before she was getting down to details. He had wanted the whole thing finished as quickly as possible, but he told Mario that he couldn’t help becoming a little interested now she had got started and wanting to know a bit more. After all he was a novice – though not in the ecclesiastical sense.”



Graham Greene (2 oktober 1904 – 3 april 1991)


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Andreas Gryphius (gelatiniseerde naam van Andreas Greif) werd geboren op 2 oktober 1616 in Glogau (Silezië). Zie ook mijn blog van 2 oktober 2006.


An Gott den Heiligen Geist



O Feuer wahrer Lib! O Brunn der guten Gaben!

O Meister aller Kunst! O Höchste Heilikeit!

O dreymal grosser GOtt! O Lust / die alles Leid

Vertreibt! O keusche Taub! O Furcht der Höllen Raben!


Die / eh das wüste Meer / mit Bergen rings umbgraben /

Ehr Lufft und Erden ward / eh das gestirnte Kleid

Dem Himmel angelegt / vor Anbegin der Zeit /

Die zwey / die gantz dir gleich
/ von sich gelassen haben:


O Weißheit ohne Maß; O reiner Seelen Gast!

O teure Gnaden-Quell’ / O Trost in herber Last!

O Regen / der in Angst mit Segen uns befeuchtet!


Ach laß ein Tröpfflein nur von deinem Lebens-Tau

Erfrischen meinen Geist! Hilff dass ich doch nur schau’

Ein Füncklein deiner Glutt! so bin ich gantz erleuchtet.



Andreas Gryphius (2 oktober 1616 – 16 juli 1664)


De Zweedse dichter en vertaler Göran Sonnevi werd geboren in Lund op 2 oktober 1939. Sonnevi heeft vele prijzen op zijn naam staand, wordt beschouwd als vernieuwend en is een van de grote namen uit de Zweedse lyriek.


Uit: Mozart’s Third Brain (Vertaald door Rika Lesser)




Democracy’s secret   In free, general elections, with secret ballots

There, too, is music’s concealment, its inaccessibility, eye

to eye   Where coercive power, over the other, does not

exist   This is music’s secret   When music moves,

sovereign, in time, its own time   For that is what defines it


South African faces, in the first free election   The dignity,

the joy breaking through, the laughter, the tears   And the wave

of warmth   As if the terrorist bombs, the violence, did not even exist

Amandla!  The strength to do what?  The power to do what?  We shall see –


There’s the fear that disappointment will come  Also inside

myself   But that is not I   Objective music sounds

for a moment   That which is history   If that summary word has

          any meaning whatsoever

I have been here before   When in the city park in Lund

I took off my hat on the first of May, when we sang

the Internationale, at a Social-Democratic gathering, in the early

60s   A warm rain fell on my head   New, light-green leaves

That I, too, grasped democracy’s secret   The unification of

fellowship and sovereignty   Respect for the worth of every

human being   Later another kind of transparency came, the blinding


Every moment democracy must be won anew   As if

it were always indefensible, defensively   As if it just

existed as light actively moving outward   For a short time it can eliminate

violence   But violence can grow overpowering   As can the violence of others against others

This is no excuse   Worth itself is always obliterated by murder



Göran Sonnevi (Lund, 2 oktober 1939)