John Steinbeck, André Roy, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2010.


Uit: East of Eden


“The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer-and what trees and seasons smelled like-how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.

I remember that the Gabilan Mountains to the east of the valley were light gay mountains full of sun and loveliness and a kind of invitation, so that you wanted to climb into their warm foothills almost as you want to climb into the lap of a beloved mother. They were beckoning mountains with a brown grass love. The Santa Lucias stood up against the sky to the west and kept the valley from the open sea, and they were dark and brooding-unfriendly and dangerous. I always found in myself a dread of west and a love of east. Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that the morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias. It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.

From both sides of the valley little streams slipped out of the hill canyons and fell into the bed of the Salinas River. In the winter of wet years the streams ran full-freshet, and they swelled the river until sometimes it raged and boiled, bank full, and then it was a destroyer. The river tore the edges of the farm lands and washed whole acres down; it toppled barns and houses into itself, to go floating and bobbing away. It trapped cows and pigs and sheep and drowned them in its muddy brown water and carried them to the sea. Then when the late spring came, the river drew in from its edges and the sand banks appeared. And in the summer the river didn’t run at all above ground. Some pools would be left in the deep swirl places under a high bank. The tules and grasses grew back, and willows straightened up with the flood debris in their upper branches. The Salinas was only a part-time river.”



John Steinbeck (27 februari 1902 – 20 december 1968)



De Britse dichter en schrijver Lawrence George Durrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1912 in Jalandhar in India. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2010.


Uit: Justine


„I have escaped to this island with the child, Melissa’s child. As the night is snatched from darkness by Arcturus, I think of my friends and of my beloved Alexandria, with its iodine-coloured meidan of Mazarita, where the open petal of Melissa’s mouth fell upon mine like unslaked summer. Ah Melissa!

The child and I are alone. I have not named it yet, though it will, of course, be Justine. I am neither happy nor unhappy: just poetically distrait. At the time I met Justine, I was a happy man. A door had opened on an intimacy with Melissa and, like all solipsistic egotists, I could not resist. I do not judge myself or others. That is far too common for a tired aesthete. I merely comment. And what of Justine? Was she trapped in a projection of a will too powerful which Alexandria threw down? And ought I to get out more?

I had lost the will to live, gazing in a desultory, yet artistically languid, manner into my vacant subconscious and whiling away the taedium vitae with stray girls. This was the unpromising material on which Melissa poured her shimmering nectar. For a week, her former lover, a bestial furrier, stalked the streets, intending to shoot me. But this was Alexandria, where everything was over-analysed under the sun’s burning zenith and nothing really happened. Unfortunately.

Of Justine? She was exigent, yet we shared a flirtation so profound it went beyond sexual attraction. “It can come to nothing, this passion between a poor schoolteacher and a married society beauty,” I said. “The city gives us no choice,” she replied in all seriousness.“



Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)




De Canadese dichter, schrijver en essayist André Roy werd geboren op 27 februari 1944 in Montréal. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2010.


Dans le sombre, j’ai lu la poésie
(pour Paul-Marie, Nicole, Denis, Roger)

Je suis le sombreur qui,
au moment des éclats,
vous apporte les poèmes
qu’il rêvait d’écrire en arrêtant de fumer,
les poèmes du néant tordu;
le chasseur des étoiles qui crient,
de ce qui a été et ne sera plus
en ces temps si courts
où nous fuyons ce qui nous fait mal.

J’écris là où Dieu ne me veut plus,
Lui-Même si triste de ne plus être éternel
et de nous avoir abandonnés en croyant
que nos poèmes nageaient et volaient comme Lui.

Paradis, Purgatoire, Enfer
quand, après avoir trop marché,
nous tomberons enfin dans le ciel,
dans la nuit de la pensée sainte.

André Roy (Montréal, 27 februari 1944)




De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2010.


The  Bridge


I stood on the bridge at midnight,

As the clocks were striking the hour,

And the moon rose o’er the city,

Behind the dark church-tower.


I saw her bright reflection

In the waters under me,

Like a golden goblet falling

And sinking into the sea.


And far in the hazy distance

Of that lovely night in June,

The blaze of the flaming furnace

Gleamed redder than the moon.


Among the long, black rafters

The wavering shadows lay,

And the current that came from the ocean

Seemed to lift and bear them away;


As, sweeping and eddying through them,

Rose the belated tide,

And, streaming into the moonlight,

The seaweed floated wide.


And like those waters rushing

Among the wooden piers,

A flood of thoughts came o’er me

That filled my eyes with tears.


How often, oh, how often,

In the days that had gone by,

I had stood on that bridge at midnight

And gazed on that wave and sky!


How often, oh, how often,

I had wished that the ebbing tide

Would bear me away on its bosom

O’er the ocean wild and wide!


For my heart was hot and restless,

And my life was full of care,

And the burden laid upon me

Seemed greater than I could bear.


But now it has fallen from me,

It is buried in the sea;

And only the sorrow of others

Throws its shadow over me.


Yet whenever I cross the river

On its bridge with wooden piers,

Like the odor of brine from the ocean

Comes the thought of other years.


And I think how many thousands

Of care-encumbered men,

Each bearing his burden of sorrow,

Have crossed the bridge since then.


I see the long procession

Still passing to and fro,

The young heart hot and restless,

And the old subdued and slow!


And forever and forever,

As long as the river flows,

As long as the heart has passions,

As long as life has woes;


The moon and its broken reflection

And its shadows shall appear,

As the symbol of love in heaven,

And its wavering image here.


Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 – 24 maart 1882)

Portret door Charles Loring Elliott, ca 1842-1846




De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. . Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2010.


als alles vorbei war
krieg und frieden
mann und frau
form und inhalt

als die sonne auf-
und untergegangen war
samt mond und stern und
den musikalien des himmels
und der erde

setzten wir uns
und warteten
auf das
was kommt.



Es kommt eine Zeit
Da fragen wir uns:
Was soll denn nur werden?
Die Luft schmeckt
So bitter
Die Vögel sind
Über alle Berge
Der Nebel macht
Die Häuser bleich
Aufs Dach trommeln
Die kleinen Tiere gehen
Unter der Erde spazieren
Wir müssen ins Haus zurück
Da hält uns der Regen gefangen

Elisabeth Borchers (Homberg, 27 februari 1926)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27e februari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag en eveneens mijn eerste blog van vandaag.