John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, André Roy, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, James T. Farrell

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck werd geboren in Salinas, Californië, op 27 februari 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor John Steinbeck op dit blog.

Uit: Travels with Charley

“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself….A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

“Once Charley fell in love with a dachshund, a romance racially unsuitable, physically ridiculous, and mechanically impossible. But all these problems Charley ignored. He loved deeply and tried dogfully.”


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 alle tags voor Lawrence Durrell op dit blog.

Uit: Spirit Of Place: Letters And Essays On Travel.

„Hotel Internazionale,
Brindisi, Italy
To Alan G. Thomas
Dear Alan,
You will see from this that we have arrived so far—at a certain cost. The whole town has been alive with rumours of the Greek revolt—and the services have been disorganized. The place swarms with people who are held up. But by some special dispensation we have discovered a boat which will drop us off at Corfu sometime in the middle of tonight. I hope you can read this scrawl. I can get you a copy of the infamous Lady Chatterly for 14 liras—about 5/-.
If the English are a nation of shop keepers, then the Italians are a nation of waiters. Positively they radiate a sort of charming servility. I have never been as waited on in any country—or, I might add, so badly. All the service is done from the wrong side.
I feel most disinclined to write. It’s very wearying kicking one’s heels in this military and naval port.
I’ve got quite a lot of amusement parading the slums and attending funerals. Most impressive. But the excitement of Greek civil war—and Italian importunity consumes me. However we leave tonight. God knows what time we reach the island. Dawn, I imagine. We have met a charming Greek boy who speaks Italian and has taken us round the town; the only night-haunt—apart from the more obvious houses of Venus for the soldiers— is a vacuous cafe with a very bad amateur band.
In order to give what Pat would call “body” to their music they accompany an exceedingly improbable and tinny gramophone. As the instruments are tuned from a piano which is several tones flat you can imagine the resulting noise.
Still I bear up very well under the stacks of local vino I am forced to consume. I’m developing a paunch like a channel buoy.
. . . For the rest—I’m too bored and the pen is too bad to write more. If I perish in the revolution you might save this letter as an example of what Italy can do to a gallant Englishman.


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 alle tags van André Roy op dit blog.


Positions, Descriptions,
Phrases, Affairs

when it swells he’s blond brown black red
when that and everything else and in every way
the different positions from the exercises
that you put into them, the specific texture of
this description I taxed my patience therein
the day is bright of course I’m really trying
to describe precisely, my eyes are useful but
with no talent for languages therefore did try
to untangle myself by using these few but
decisive phrases, allthings consodered caught
in the act of writing for sex’s sake is my affair.


Confession and a Tale

the frequent love word in whose name
so readily we make our confession
as lacking in scruples as impromptu dreams;
so then, were those words a command? like silk,
like glass there is sperm, it’s
the hieroglyph of a game over, dry dried
a swarm of assembled animals can be read therein,
immaculate burned to ashes
I’m looking it’s a tale tied
to this naked young man asleep
with his stiffened tail, I was absolutely about
to pretend I was dying
on this lovely summer evening when he let me
 love him. 


Vertaald door Daniel Sloate


André Roy (Montréal, 27 februari 1944)


De Amerikaanse dichter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 27 februari 1807. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Longfellow op dit blog.


A Summer Day By The Sea

The sun is set; and in his latest beams
Yon little cloud of ashen gray and gold,
Slowly upon the amber air unrolled,
The falling mantle of the Prophet seems.
From the dim headlands many a light-house gleams,
The street-lamps of the ocean; and behold,
O’erhead the banners of the night unfold;
The day hath passed into the land of dreams.
O summer day beside the joyous sea!
O summer day so wonderful and white,
So full of gladness and so full of pain!
Forever and forever shalt thou be
To some the gravestone of a dead delight,
To some the landmark of a new domain.



The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;–
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;–a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.


Old Age

The course of my long life hath reached at last,
In fragile bark o’er a tempestuous sea,
The common harbor, where must rendered be
Account of all the actions of the past.
The impassioned phantasy, that, vague and vast,
Made art an idol and a king to me,
Was an illusion, and but vanity
Were the desires that lured me and harassed.
The dreams of love, that were so sweet of yore,
What are they now, when two deaths may be mine,–
One sure, and one forecasting its alarms?
Painting and sculpture satisfy no more
The soul now turning to the Love Divine,
That oped, to embrace us, on the cross its arms.


Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 – 24 maart 1882)
Portret door zijn zoon Ernest W. Longfellow, 1886


De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Elisabeth Borchers werd geboren in Homberg op 27 februari 1926. Zie ook alle tags voor Elisabeth Borchers op dit blog.


 Zeit. Zeit

Ich muß endlich begreifen
daß ich Zeit habe.
Zeit für den Vogel auf der Brüstung
der mit mir redet, im Auftrag.
Zeit für den Lampenfuß
in dem sich das Erdenlicht spiegelt.
Zeit für die Katze auf blauem Samt
in kleinstem Format an der Wand
von Almut gemalt, als beide noch lebten.
Auch für das Schaf mit den schwarzen Ohren
den schielenden Augen, dem schiefen Maul und dem
durstigen Mund. Indianisch, ganz einfach, instruktiv.
Vermissen werde ich’s im kommenden Jahrhundert.
Ich habe noch nicht ein stillschweigendes Wort
mit der getrockneten Rose gewechselt, woher und wohin denn.
Und das Kalenderbuch in schwarzem Leder
mit der goldenen Jahreszahl
klafft elegant auseinander, um mich ein- und auszulassen.
Lernen, Zeit zu haben.
Lernen, daß es zu spät ist.


Ich will ihn haben

Ich will ihn heben
den versunkenen Schatz
das Gold, die Lieb, den Edelstein
Ich will die Weltenuhr verrücken
Ich weiß, es wird nicht einfach sein
Ich weiß, es wird mir nie
und nimmer glücken
So laß die Sterne leuchten
und sei’s nur einer: der ist dein.


Elisabeth Borchers (27 februari 1926 – 25 september 2013)


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thomas Farrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1904 in Chicago. Zie ook alle tags voor James T. Farrell op dit blog.

Uit: Young Lonigan

“It meant Bertha trying to pound lessons down your throat, when you weren’t interested in them; church history and all about the Jews and Moses, and Joseph, and Daniel in the lion’s den, and Solomon who was wiser than any man that ever lived, except Christ, and maybe the Popes, who had the Holy Ghost to back up what they said; arithmetic, and square and cube roots, and percentage that Studs had never been able to get straight in his bean; catechism lessons … the ten commandments of God, the six commandments of the church, the seven capital sins, and the seven cardinal virtues and that lesson about the sixth commandment, which didn’t tell a guy anything at all about it and only had words that he’d found in the dictionary like adultery which made him all the more curious; grammar with all its dry rules, and its sentences that had to be diagrammed and were never diagrammed right; spelling, and words like apothecary that Studs still couldn’t spell; Palmer method writing, that was supposed to make you less tired and made you more tired, and the exercises of shaking your arm before each lesson, and the round and round (a pictures of small circles) and straight and straight, (a picture of small vertical lines) and the copy book, all smeared with ink, that he had gone through, doing exercise after exercise on neat sheets of Palmer paper, so that he could get a Palmer method certificate that his old man kicked about paying for because he thought it was graft; history lessons from the dull red history book, but they wouldn’t have been so bad if America had had more wars and if a guy could talk and think about the battles without having to memorize their dates, and the dates of when presidents were elected, and when Fulton invented the steamboat, and Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin or whatever in hell he did invent.”


James T. Farrell (27 februari 1904 – 22 augustus 1979)
Poster voor de film „Studs Lonigan“ uit 1960 met o.a. Christopher Knight en Jack Nicholson


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27e februari ook mijn drie blogs van 27 februari 2012.