János Arany, Jevgeni Baratynski, Pascal Rannou, Sholom Aleichem, Olivia Manning, Gerhard von Halem

De Hongaarse dichter János Arany werd geboren op 2 maart 1817 in Nagyszalonta. Zie ook alle tags voor János Arany op dit blog.

Uit: Toldi (Fragment)

First Canto

‘He took in one hand an enormous rail
and pointed at the road to Buda.’

The sun shrivels up the sparse alkali flats,
parched herds of grasshoppers are grazing about –
not a new blade in all the the stubble, not a handbreadth
in green in all the broad meadows. A dozen laborers
or so are snoring under the stack – all their work
is going fine, but the big haywagons loiter there,
empty or only half loaded with hay.

A lanky sweep dandles its skinny neck into the well
and spies for water – imagine a giant gnat sucking
the blood of old earth. Thirsty oxen mill around
the through, making war on an armyt of flies. But
lazybone Laczkó hangs on the hands, and who’s to scoop
the water up?

As far as the eye can see on bleak earth and sky,
one workman alone on his feet. A whopping side-
rail sways on his browny shoulder ligthly, and still
not a trace of beard on his chin. He stares far,
far down the road as though to depart this village
and land for other fields. A live warning, you
would have thought him, planted at the crossroad on
a shallow hill.

Dear little brother, why stand in the blazing sun?
Look, others are snoring under the hay. The kuvasz,
too, is lolling there his tounge dangling out, not
for all the world would he go a-mousing. Or have you
never seen a whirlwind like this? It kicks up the
dust for a fight, lickd the road at breakneck speed,
a smoke-stack belching on the run.

János Arany (2 maart 1817 – 22 oktober 1882)

Beeld in Boedapest


De Russische dichter Jevgeni Baratynski werd geboren op 2 maart 1800 in Sint Petersburg. Zie ook alle tags voor Jevgeni Baratynski op dit blog.



I am of the race of spirits,

But do not abide in Heaven’s realm,

And whenever I attain the clouds,

Strength fails me and I fall.

Heaven lies beyond these waves, I know,

So I rush about, a winged sigh,

‘Twixt the earth and sky

I adore the shining sun!

In the heights I frolic

‘midst its vivifying rays.

I caress them like a cloudlet

With my playful wings;

I am free and light,

Gaily the thin air I drink,

Like a chirping bird I sing.

Foul weather soon comes nigh

Blowing earthly dust and leaves,

High up to the very clouds,

Dimming heaven’s vault:

Poor spirit! Irrelevant spirit!

Fateful, stormy whirling

Like a feather throws me high

‘neath the thundering sky.

Roaring tempest, whistling tempest!

Icy whirlwind, fiery whirlwind!

I am battered by leaves,

Choke on whirling dust!

Whether heavenward I turn,

Whether earthwards I look back –

Both are terrible and drear;

And I cry out in despair.

Muffled roars betimes of warring

Peoples fill my ears,

And the cries of carefree peasants

Crushed by horrible campaigns,

War’s commotion, passions’ wails,

And a sickly child’s cry…

From my eyes flow streams of tears:

And I pity earthly creatures.

Tortured by the pangs of yearning

I dash about the heavenly fields

The fields above me while below me –

Limitless-over-small for sorrow!

Cloaked by cloud rush,

Alien to the earthly sphere,

While the storm’s voice overwhelms

Sorrowing voices of the human realm.

I descry the world in darkness:

As I heed the faint vibration

Of celestial harps…On earth

I brought back to life a premature child.

Never having lived, he left:

Fateful transience!

Your abundance burdens me

Meaningless eternity!


Vertaald door Rawley Grau


Jevgeni Baratynski (2 maart 1800 – 11 juli 1844)


De Franse schrijver en letterkundige Pascal Rannou werd geboren op 2 maart 1958 in Laval. Zie ook alle tags voor Pascal Ramou op dit blog.


Uit: Noire la neige

“Chattanooga… Pitchipoï… Le train souffle et ahane, les étin­celles font des étoiles dans la nuit qui a tué les siennes. J’en ai connu des trains de nuit, de Boston à San Francisco, de Paris à Moscou, des avions, des bateaux, des limousines blanches… et la caravane du cirque de Pa’, traînée par des chevaux, puis par de vieilles voitures retirées de la casse… Chattanooga… Pitchipoï… Mes souvenirs s’embrument et je voudrais dormir. Il fait froid, sur ces planches. Je ne peux pas dormir, mes voisines me gênent, ronflent, claquent des dents, me labourent les côtes. Ma’ passe une main dans mes cheveux bouclés. Au loin, le train mugit son rythme de fox-trot. Je voudrais bien dormir, mais je ne le peux pas. Pourquoi suis-je si morte ? Je suis morte deux fois, sous les coups, les brimades, le travail et la faim, et je suis oubliée. Rappelez-vous de moi. Chattanooga… Pitchipoï… Le train dansait le jitterburg dans les Smoky Mountains, il est devenu fou dans les plaines de Silésie.”


Pascal Rannou (Laval, 2 maart 1958)


De Russisch-joodse schrijver Sholom Aleichem werd geboren in Pereyslav bij Kiev op 2 maart 1859. Zie ook alle tags voor Sholom Aleichem op dit blog.


Uit: Elijah the Prophet

“It is not good to be an only child, fussed over by one’s parents. “From seven, only one remains.” Here–don’t stand. There–don’t go. This–don’t eat. That–don’t drink. Your head–cover. Your neck–wrap. Your hands–put away. Your nose–wipe.

Oy, it’s no good, no good to be an only son. And the son of a rich man besides! My dad is rich. He is a moneychanger. He goes about with a sack of small change to all the shops. He changes silver into small change and small change into silver. That’s why his fingers always look black and his fingernails are broken. He toils very hard. Each day, when he comes home he is exhausted and broken. “No feet,” he complains to Mama, “No feet, not a sign of feet.”

No feet, perhaps. But he does have a fine parnuseh [“job” or “living”]. So everyone says. They envy us because we have parnuseh and more parnuseh. My mother is pleased. Me too. “Paysach at my home this year for all good Jews, Ribono shel Oylum.” So Mama says and thanks God that we should have such a Paysach. I do too. But when will we see it already, this Paysach?

We scarcely could wait to see Paysach, lovely dear Paysach. They dressed me in kingly raiment as is fitting for a rich man’s son. But what did I get out of it? I must not leap about in the outdoors lest I catch cold. I must not fly about with all the beggar’s children for I am a rich man’s son. Such fine clothing but with no one before whom I could show it off. A pocket full of nuts but no one with whom to play.

It’s no good to be an only son, fussed over, the sole survivor from seven and a rich man’s son besides.”


Sholom Aleichem (2 maart 1859 – 13 mei 1916)



De Britse schrijfster Olivia Manning werd geboren op 2 maart 1908 in Portsmouth. Zie ook alle tags voor Olivia Manningop dit blog.


Uit: The Balkan Trilogy (The spoilt city)

“Were you in England recently, sir?” Guy asked.

“Less than a month ago. You’d find it much changed, I think. Changed for the better, I mean.”

While Wheeler, with knotted brows, concentrated on the task of getting the car-key off the ring, Sir Brian talked in a leisurely way of a new sense of comradeship which he said was breaking down class-consciousness in England and drawing people together. “Your secretary calls you ‘Brian’ and the liftman says: ‘We’re all in it together.’ I like it. I like it very much.” Once or twice, while talking, he gave a slightly mischievous side-glance at Wheeler, so the others warmed to him, feeling he was one of them and on their side against the established prejudices of the Legation.

Wheeler, not listening, gave a sigh. The key had come off the ring. He gazed at it, perplexed, then set himself the more difficult task of getting it on again.

“After the war we shall see a new world,” Sir Brian said and smiled at the three young people, each of whom watched him with rapt, nostalgic gaze. “A classless world, I should like to think.”

Harriet thought how odd it was to be standing in this melancholy light, listening to this important person who had flown in that afternoon and would fly out again that night—an unreal visitant to a situation that must seem unreal to him. Yet, real or not, the other men would be left to the risk of imprisonment, torture and death.

Sir Brian suddenly interrupted his talk about England to say: “So it’s all over here, eh? Geography defeated us. The dice were loaded against us. No one to blame. These things can’t be helped.”


Olivia Manning (2 maart 1908 – 23 juli 1980)


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Gerhard Anton von Halem werd geboren op 2 maart 1752 in Oldenburg. Zie ook alle tags voor Gerhard von Halem op dit blog.

Die Bürgermeisterwahl

Die Stimme Bavs gab ihm den Wert,
Und Bav, ihr wißts, entschied sonst wenig.
So wiehert’ einst Hydaspes Pferd,
Und sieh, der Reiter wurde König.

Gerhard von Halem (2 maart 1752 – 4 januari 1819)

Oldenburg, Langestrasse