John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell, Henry Longfellow, Elisabeth Borchers, Jules Lemaitre, James Thomas Farrell, N(avarre) Scott Momaday, Traugott Vogel

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

Uit: East Of Ede

I went along with them, marveling at the beauty of their proud clean brains. I began to love my race, and for the first time I wanted to be Chinese. Every two weeks I went to a meeting with them, and in my room here I covered pages with writing. I bought every known Hebrew dictionary. But the old gentlemen were always ahead of me. It wasn’t long before they were ahead of our rabbi; he brought a colleague in. Mr. Hamilton, you should have sat through some of those nights of argument and discussion. The questions, the inspection, oh, the lovely thinking — the beautiful thinking.

“After two years we felt that we could approach your sixteen verses of the fourth chapter of Genesis. My old gentlemen felt that these words were very im­portant too — ‘Thou shalt’ and ‘Do thou.’ And this was the gold from our mining: ‘Thou mayest.’ ‘Thou mayest rule over sin.’ The old gentlemen smiled and nodded and felt the years were well spent. It brought them out of their Chinese shells too, and right now they are studying Greek.”
Samuel said, “It’s a fantastic story. And I’ve tried to follow and maybe I’ve missed somewhere. Why is this word so important?”

Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel — ‘Thou mayest’ — that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’ — it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?”
“Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?”

“Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is impor­tant. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But “Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph.”  


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.




Soft toys that make to seem girls
In cool whitewash with two coral
Valves of lip printing each others’ grease …
A clockwork Cupid’s bow. Increase!
Their cherry-ripe hullo brims the open purse
Of eyes washed white by the marmoreal light;
So swaying as if on pyres they go
About the buried business of the night,
Cold witches of the elementary tease
lanced on the horn of a supposed desire…
Trees shed their leaves like some of these.




The soft quem quam will be Scops the Owl
conjugation of nouns, a line of enquiry,
powdery stubble of the socratic prison
laurels crack like parchments in the wind.
who walks here in the violet dust at night
by the tower of the winds and water-clocks?
tapers smoke upon open coffins
surely the shattered pitchers must one day
revive in the gush of marble breathing up?
call again softly, and again.
the fresh spring empties like a vein
no children spit on their reflected faces
but from the blazing souk below the passive smells
bread urine cooking printing-ink
will tell you what the sullen races think
and among the tombs gnawing of mandolines
confounding sleep with carnage where
strangers arrive like sleepy gods
dismount at nightfall at desolate inns.



Lawrence Durrell (27 februari 1912 – 7 november 1990)


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

The Day Is Done

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.



Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 – 24 maart 1882)


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

Was alles braucht’s zum Paradies

Ein Warten ein Garten

eine Mauer darum

ein Tor mit viel Schloß und viel Riegel

ein Schwert eine Schneide aus Morgenlicht

ein Rauschen aus Blättern und Bächen

ein Flöten ein Harfen ein Zirpen

ein Schnauben (von lieblicher Art)

Arzeneien aus Balsam und Düften

viel Immergrün und Nimmerschwarz

kein Plagen Klagen Hoffen

kein Ja kein Nein kein Widerspruch

ein Freudenlaut

ein allerlei Wiegen und Wogen

das Spielzeug eine Acht aus Gold

ein Heute und kein Morgen

der Zeitvertreib das Wunder

das Testament aus warmem Schnee

wer kommt wer ginge wieder

Wir werden es erfragen.



Elisabeth Borchers (Homberg, 27 februari 1926)


De Franse schrijver en dichter Jules Lemaître werd geboren op 27 februari 1853 in Vennecy, Loiret. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 februari 2007.

Uit: En marge des vieux livres


“Télémaque venait d’atteindre sa vingtième année. Ses parents songeaient à le marier ; mais il n’était pas facile de lui trouver une femme dans la contrée, car toutes les jeunes princesses de Zanthe, de Zacynthe et de Dulichios étaient soeurs ou cousines des prétendants tués par le magnanime Ulysse, et l’on craignait qu’elles ne se fissent prier pour entrer dans sa famille.

Ulysse, alors, se souvint de Nausicaa, et de sa grâce, et de son bon caractère. C’était aux parents de Nausicaa qu’il devait d’avoir revu sa patrie. «Même, dit-il, je me souviens que le roi Alcinoos, me croyant célibataire, souhaita que je devinsse son gend
re. J’étais un peu mûr pour sa fille. Je suis néanmoins persuadé qu’elle m’eût accepté pour mari. A plus forte raison, mon cher fils, agréerait-elle en toi un autre moi-même, plus jeune, de poil plus nouveau, et plus plaisant à voir. Peut-être n’est-elle pas encore mariée. Si tu m’en crois, dès que les vents seront favorables, tu équiperas un navire et tu iras rendre visite au roi Alcinoos, dans l’île des Phéaciens.

– Volontiers», dit Télémaque.

Or, le même jour, un messager de Ménélas, roi de Sparte, débarqua dans le port d’Ithaque, vint trouver Ulysse avec des présents, et lui dit :

– Voici le message dont je suis chargé pour toi. Le roi Ménélas et sa femme Hélène ont gardé le meilleur souvenir de ton fils Télémaque. Ils doivent recevoir prochainement dans leur maison le roi et la reine de Phéacie, dont tu fus l’hôte, et leur fille Nausicaa. Si donc il plaisait à ton fils de retourner à Sparte, il y rencontrerait cette aimable enfant. Le roi Ménélas ne m’en a pas dit davantage; mais, si Télémaque accepte son invitation, il pourrait profiter du vaisseau qui m’a conduit ici.”



Jules Lemaître (27 februari 1853 – 5 augustus 1914)


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thomas Farrell werd geboren op 27 februari 1904 in Chicago.

De Amerikaanse (native, Kiowa) schrijver N(avarre) Scott Momaday werd geboren op 27 februari 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma.

De Zwitserse schrijver Traugott Vogel werd op 27 februari 1894 als zoon van een groentehandelaar in Zürich geboren.