James Fenton, Walter de la Mare, Ted Kooser, Ross Franklin Lockridge Jr., Richard Anders

De Engelse dichter, schrijver, criticus en letterkundige James Fenton werd geboren op 25 april 1949 in  Lincoln. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 april 2009.

God, A Poem 

A nasty surprise in a sandwich,
A drawing-pin caught in your sock,
The limpest of shakes from a hand which
You’d thought would be firm as a rock,

A serious mistake in a nightie,
A grave disappointment all round
Is all that you’ll get from th’Almighty,
Is all that you’ll get underground.

Oh he said: ‘If you lay off the crumpet
I’ll see you alright in the end.
Just hang on until the last trumpet.
Have faith in me, chum-I’m your friend.’

But if you remind him, he’ll tell you:
‘I’m sorry, I must have been pissed-
Though your name rings a sort of a bell. You
Should have guessed that I do not exist.

‘I didn’t exist at Creation,
I didn’t exist at the Flood,
And I won’t be around for Salvation
To sort out the sheep from the cud-

‘Or whatever the phrase is. The fact is
In soteriological terms
I’m a crude existential malpractice
And you are a diet of worms.

‘You’re a nasty surprise in a sandwich.
You’re a drawing-pin caught in my sock.
You’re the limpest of shakes from a hand which
I’d have thought would be firm as a rock,

‘You’re a serious mistake in a nightie,
You’re a grave disappointment all round-
That’s all you are, ‘ says th’Almighty,
‘And that’s all that you’ll be underground.’


Voor wie het gedicht wil horen: Fenton leest dit gedicht op You Tube voor.


James Fenton (Lincoln, 25 april 1949)


De Engelse dichter Walter John de la Mare werd geboren op 25 april 1873 in Charlton, Kent. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 april 2009.


As I was walking 


As I was walking,

Thyme sweet to my nose,

Green grasshoppers talking,

Rose rivalling rose:

And wing, like amber,

Dispread in light,

As from bush to bush

Linnet took flight:

Master Rabbit I saw

In the shadow-rimmed mouth

Of his sandy cavern,

Looking out to the South.

‘Twas dew-tide coming;

The turf was sweet

To nostril, curved tooth,

And wool-soft feet.

Sun was in West;

Crystal in beam

Of its golden shower

Did his round eye gleam.

Lank human was I,

And a foe, poor soul—

Snowy flit of a scut,

He was into his hole,

And—stamp, stamp, stamp!

Through dim labyrinths clear,

The whole world darkened,

A murderer near.





There is wind where the rose was,

Cold rain where sweet grass was,

And clouds like sheep

Stream o’er the steep

Grey skies where the lark was.


Nought warm where your hand was,

Nought gold where your hair was,

But phantom, forlorn,

Beneath the thorn,

Your ghost where your face was.


Cold wind where your voice was,

Tears, tears where my heart was,

And ever with me,

Child, ever with me,

Silence where hope was.



Walter John de la Mare (25 april 1873 – 22 juni 1956)


De Amerikaanse dichter Ted Kooser werd geboren op 25 april 1939 in Ames, Iowa. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 april 2009.


In January 


Only one cell in the frozen hive of night

is lit, or so it seems to us:

this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,

its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.

Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.

Beyond the glass, the wintry city

creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.

A great wind rushes under all of us.

The bigger the window, the more it trembles.




What once was meant to be a statement—
a dripping dagger held in the fist
of a shuddering heart—is now just a bruise
on a bony old shoulder, the spot
where vanity once punched him hard
and the ache lingered on. He looks like
someone you had to reckon with,
strong as a stallion, fast and ornery,
but on this chilly morning, as he walks
between the tables at a yard sale
with the sleeves of his tight black T-shirt
rolled up to show us who he was,
he is only another old man, picking up
broken tools and putting them back,
his heart gone soft and blue with stories.



Ted Kooser (Ames, 25 april 1939)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Ross Franklin Lockridge Jr. werd geboren op 25 april 1914 in Bloomington, Indiana. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 april 2009.


Uit: Raintree County


 –SEVEN TIMES, the Senator said. Laugh if you will, gentlemen, but back in those days I was a brute of a boy.
Somewhere down the street a boy touched off a cannoncracker. Mr. Shawnessy jumped, felt unhappy. The Senator was approached by delegates of the Sitting and Sewing Society, whose hands he pumped for a while.
–I used to pull a pretty mean oar myself, the Perfessor said. By the way, John, what is that godawful yelling over there?
For some time, a great voice had been booming over the trees, getting louder and angrier. Now and then a stentorian shout soared above the rest, grating hoarsely like a horn blown too high and too hard.
–That’s God, Mr. Shawnessy said.
–What? said the Perfessor, crossing himself. Is he here today too?
–It’s the Revival preacher, fellow named Jarvey. One of these Kentucky evangelists. He confuses himself with the Deity–and understandably, too, if you saw him. From June to August, he’s the most powerful man in Raintree County. The ladies come back every year to get converted all over again. He’s been pitching his tabernacle on the National Road here for the last three summers. No one knows just why. When I first came to Waycross in the summer of 1890, he was already here. Your little friend, Mrs. Evelina Brown, has been very friendly with him. She considers him a magnificent primitive personality, which in a way he is.
–That’s just like Evelina, the Perfessor said. Like all thoroughly erotic women, she begins by falsifying an aesthetic type. I hope it didn’t go any farther than that. Where does he go for the winter?
–Nobody knows. Back to the Kentucky mountains, I suppose, after restoring heaven to the local souls.
–I suppose like all these Southern ranters he’s a goat in shepherd’s clothing.
–So far he’s escaped criticism of that kind, even though he’s a bachelor. But he’s a brutal converter. Built like a blacksmith, he brandishes his great arms and beats the ladies prone. He has a great shout that scares everybody into the arms of Jesus. You ought to hear him.
–I do hear him, goddamn him, the Perfessor said.
–Still he’s a man of God, Mr. Shawnessy said resignedly. My own wife regularly attends his revival meetings. She’s over there now. ….“



Ross Franklin Lockridge Jr. (25 april 1914 – 6 maart 1948)



De Duitse dichter en schrijver Richard Anders werd geboren op 25 april 1928 in Ortelsburg, tegenwoordig Szczytno, Polen. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 april 2009.

Sacre du printemps
für Fred Apke

Kurz wie ein Rock ist der Rausch
eine Zunge ohne Gesicht
ein Rätsel das sein Gedächtnis sucht
die Mitternacht zwischen zwei Engeln

wo man Rosen jagt
im Hinterkopf
und lange Blicke
geworfen werden


Du bist hinuntergesprungen

zwischen die Augen
und dein schwarzer Anzug
folgt dir auf dem Fuß

Die Laternen schielen
mit großen Ohren
zu den bewimperten Perlen
die aus der Haut fahren

wie ein Schrei der lautlos
über die Lippen kommt
wenn es im Hitzkopf
von Einfällen hagelt

die im buttrigen Körper
stecken bleiben
der auf flacher
Pfanne schmilzt

Die Spitze einer Flamme
berührt dein Herz
das bis zum zerspringen
in lauter Blutstropfen hämmert

So viel du auch kochst
es wird Spitze sein
landläufig jedenfalls
wie die Esser behaupten

denen die Zungen
auf den Strich gehen
wie geschürte Mädchen
die es in sich haben

Im Frühling wenn Liebe stinkt


Richard Anders (Ortelsburg, 25 april 1928)

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 25e april ook
mijn vorige blog van vandaag.