James Dickey, Santa Montefiore, Xuân Diệu, Ayn Rand, William Rose Benét

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver James Dickey werd geboren op 2 februari 1923 in Atlanta, Georgia. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2009.


Uit: The Shark’s Parlor


„Memory: I can take my head and strike it on a wall on Cumberland Island
Where the night tide came crawling under the stairs came up the first
Two or three steps and the cottage stood on poles all night
With the sea sprawled under it as we dreamed of the great fin circling
Under the bedroom floor. In daylight there was my first brassy taste of beer
And Payton Ford and I came back from the Glynn County slaughterhouse
With a bucket of entrails and blood. We tied one end of a hawser
To a spindling porch-pillar and rowed straight out of the house
Three hundred yards into the vast front yard of windless blue water
The rope out slithering its coil the two-gallon jug stoppered and sealed
With wax and a ten-foot chain leader a drop-forged shark-hook nestling.
We cast our blood on the waters the land blood easily passing
For sea blood and we sat in it for a moment with the stain spreading
Out from the boat sat in a new radiance in the pond of blood in the sea
Waiting for fins waiting to spill our guts also in the glowing water.
We dumped the bucket, and baited the hook with a run-over collie pup. The jug
Bobbed, trying to shake off the sun as a dog would shake off the sea.
We rowed to the house feeling the same water lift the boat a new way,
All the time seeing where we lived rise and dip with the oars.
We tied up and sat down in rocking chairs, one eye on the other responding
To the blue-eye wink of the jug. Payton got us a beer and we sat“



James Dickey (2 februari 1923 – 19 januari 1997)


De Britse schrijfster Santa Montefiore (eig. Santa Palmer-Tomkinson) werd geboren op 2 februari 1970 in Hampshire. Montefiore is de dochter van Charles Palmer-Tomkinson. Haar vader vertegenwoordigde zijn land met skiën op Olympisch niveau tijdens de Olympische Winterspelen van 1964. Voordat ze Spaans en Italiaans leerde aan de Universiteit van Exeter, werkte ze een jaar op een Argentijnse ranch. Voordat ze terug kwam naar het Verenigd Koninkrijk woonde ze in de jaren negentig een tijd in Buenos Aires. Vier van haar boeken spelen zich af in Argentinië.


Uit: The Gypsy Madonna


„It all began on a snowy January day. January is bleak in New York. The trees are bare, the festivities over, the Christmas tree lights taken down for another year. The wind that races down the streets is edged with ice. I walked briskly with my hands in my coat pockets. Head down, eyes to the ground, lost in thought: nothing particular, just
the business of the day. I tried not to think of my mother. I am an avoider. If something gives me pain I don’t think about it. If I don’t think about it, it isn’t happening. If I can’t see it, it isn’t there, right? My mother had been dead a week. The funeral was over. Only the journalists pestered like flies, determined to find out why an uncatalogued, unknown Titian of such importance had only now come to light. Didn’t they understand that I knew as little as they did? If they were grappling in the dark, I was floundering
in space.

I reached my office. A redbrick building in the West Village with an antique shop on the ground floor. Zebedee Hapstein, the eccentric clockmaker, toiled against a discordant orchestra of ticking in his workshop next door. I fumbled in my pocket for the key. My fingers were numb. I had forgotten to wear gloves. For a moment I looked at my reflection in the glass“.



Santa Montefiore (Hampshire, 2 februari 1970)



De Viëtnamese dichter Xuân Diệu werd geboren op 2 februari 1916 in Gò Bồi, gemeente Tùng Giản. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2009.


Say It


“I am deeply in love, dear, is that not enough?
“How greedy you are, and demanding too!
“You already know, for I’ve told you I love you.
“Why insist on me repeating old stuff so oft?


You love me deeply, but is that enough?
If you are in love, but you just keep it inside
And not show it, then words are empty,
And beauty is as cold as marble.


I have an immense desire, did you know?
And absolute, too. I’m in constant search of you.
If today’s truth is truth no longer tomorrow,
How can, my dear, love ever be old too?


Be deeply in love, but that is still not enough.
You’ve got to say love, hundreds, no, thousands of times.
Be so loving that every night is one of spring,
And birds and butterflies freed in the love garden.


Say it, you must say it, you must.


With words that dwell privy in your eyes and your brows
With joy, bashfulness, and ecstasy at dusk,
With head cuddling, smile on your lips, and grasping arms,
With wordless intensity, what else do I know!


Just make sure you don’t stay frigid as ice
Or be unmoved beside one burning with desire,
Nor be as placid as still water in the pond.
Be deeply in love, but that is still not enough.



Vertaald door Thomas D. Le



Xuân Diệu (2 februari 1916 – 18 december 1985)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster van Russische komaf Ayn Rand (eig. Alissa “Alice” Zinovievna Rosenbaum) werd geboren in Sint-Petersburg op  2 februari 1905. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2009.


Uit: The Anthem


„We look ahead, we beg our heart for guidance in answering this call no voice has spoken, yet we have heard. We look upon our hands. We see the dust of centuries, the dust which hid the great secrets and perhaps great evils. And yet it stirs no fear within our heart, but only silent reverence and pity.

May knowledge come to us! What is the secret our heart has understood and yet will not reveal to us, although it seems to beat as if it were endeavoring to tell it?

I am. I think. I will.

My hands . . . My spirit . . . My sky . . . My forest . . . This earth of mine. . . . What must I say besides? These are the words. This is the answer.

I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.

It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgement of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect.

Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: “I will it!”

Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which point the way. They point in but one direction. They point to me.“



Ayn Rand (2 februari 1905 – 6 maart 1982)


De Amerikaanse dichter en uitgever William Rose Benét werd geboren op 2 febrari 1886 in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 februari 2009.


The Falconer of God


I flung my soul to the air like a falcon flying.

I said, “Wait on, wait on, while I ride below!

I shall start a heron soon

In the marsh beneath the moon —

A strange white heron rising with silver on its wings,

Rising and crying

Wordless, wondrous things;

The secret of the stars, of the world’s heart-strings,

The answer to their woe.

Then stoop thou upon him, and grip and hold him so!”


My wild soul waited on as falcons hover.

I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past.

I heard the mournful loon

In the marsh beneath the moon.

And then — with feathery thunder — the bird of my desire

Broke from the cover

Flashing silver fire.

High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire.

The pale clouds gazed aghast

As my falcon stoopt upon him, and gript and held him fast.


My soul dropt through the air — with heavenly plunder? —

Gripping the dazzling bird my dreaming knew?

Nay! but a piteous freight,

A dark and heavy weight

Despoiled of silver plumage, its voice forever stilled, —

All of the wonder

Gone that ever filled

Its guise with glory. Oh, bird that I have killed,

How brilliantly you flew

Across my rapturous vision when first I dreamed of you!


Yet I fling my soul on high with new endeavor,

And I ride the world below with a joyful mind.

I shall start a heron soon

In the marsh beneath the moon —

A wondrous silver heron its inner darkness fledges!

I beat forever

The fens and the sedges.

The pledge is still the same — for all disastrous pledges,

All hopes resigned!

My soul still flies above me for the quarry it shall find.



William Rose Benét (2 februari 1886 – 4 mei 1950)
Hier zittend links temidden van vele collega’s in de Gotham Book Mart, 1948