Patricia Highsmith, Thomas Gsella, Paul-Eerik Rummo, Marie Koenen

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Patricia Highsmith werd geboren als Mary Patricia Plangman in Fort Worth (Texas) op 19 januari 1921. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.


Uit: Those Who Walk Away


‘What are you worried about?’ asked Elisabetta. She was smiling, a little merry on the champagne.

‘I don’t know. Nothing.’ He felt faint, blank, dead or perhaps dying. Distant, high-pitched bells rang in his ears. The girl was saying something that he could not hear, looking off to one side now, and her unconcern at his condition made him feel quite alone. He breathed deeply, one deep breath after another of the tobacco-laden air. The girl did not notice. The faintness passed.

A few moments later, they were out on the street, walking. The girl said it was not far back to where they lived, and there was no boat that could be of any help. The lanes were moist under their shoes. The girl held his arm and chattered on about last summer’s vacation. She had gone to visit relatives in the Ticino. They had cows and a big house. They had taken her to Zurich. She thought Zurich was much cleaner than Venice. Ray could feel the warmth of the girl’s arm next to his. He did not feel faint now, but he felt alone and lost, without purpose, without identity. Wouldn’t it be strange, he thought, if he really were dead, if he were dreaming all of this, or if by some strange process – which was the assumption on which nearly all ghost stories were based – he was a ghost visible to a few people, like this girl, a ghost who tomorrow would not be in the room at Signora Calliuloi’s, would have left not even an unmade bed behind him, only a strange memory in the minds of the few who had seen him, a few whom other people might not believe when they spoke him?

But the dark canals were very real, and so was the rat that crossed their path twenty feet ahead, running from a hole in the stone parapet that bordered the canal, where a barge stirred sleepily against its rope mooring, making a piggish sound like schlurp. The girl had seen the rat, but had interrupted what she was saying only by a brief ‘Ooh!’ and gone on. A light, fixed on the corner of a house so it would illuminate four streets, seemed to burn with impatience, waiting for persons not yet arrived, persons who would carry out some action below it.

‘How long are you really going to be here?’ asked Elisabetta.

Ray saw that they had entered their street. ‘Three or four days.’

‘Thank you for this evening,’ Elisabetta said in her doorway. She looked quickly at her watch., but Ray doubted if she could even see the time on it. ‘I think it’s before eleven. We are very good.’

He had reached a state of not hearing what she said, and yet he did not want to leave her.“



Patricia Highsmith (19 januari 1921 – 4 februari 1995)


De Duitse dichter en satiricus Thomas Gsella werd geboren op 19 januari 1958 in Essen. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.

Die Bundeskanzlerin

Sie platzt vor Fleiß. Kaum graut der Tag,
Da stellt sie erste Weichen:
Sie nimmt den Armen den Belag
Vom Brot und schenkt’s den Reichen.
Am Mittag geht’s ins Kabinett.
Ergebnis der Debatten:
Sie kratzt den Hungrigen das Fett
Vom Brot und gibt’s den Satten.
Am Abend dann das reine Glück:
Sie senkt Lohnnebenkosten.
Zehn Wessis kriegen Geld zurück
Von einer aus ‘m Osten.


Der ICE-Zugchef

Ein Kieler Morgen, heiß und licht.
Er spricht dezent und leise:
“Die Lüftung funktioniert heut’ nicht.
Wir wünschen gute Reise.”
Ein Kieler Nachmittag. Man hört
Im Halbschlaf seine Worte:
“Die Oberleitung ist zerstört.
Im Bistro: alte Torte.”
Die Kieler Nacht, von ihm versüßt
Dank tiefster Menschenkenntnis:
“Zwölf Stunden sind nun eingebüßt.
Wir bitten um Verständnis.”


Thomas Gsella (Essen,19 januari 1958)


De Estlandse dichter, schrijver en politicus Paul-Eerik Rummo werd geboren op 19 januari 1942 in Tallinn. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.


Now give me god the strength


now give me god the strength to run in showers of
and to recognize the inevitability amongst the many
imposing themselves on being it


memory is where our sufferings are nesting
no dog can gnaw through his genetic chain
but it’s quite another thing to run just here in showers
of chances
but it’s quite another thing to run just here in showers
of chances
inevitability, give me your hand


inevitability, here is my second hand
my first one has been already given to you by my
inevitability, give me your hand



Vertaald door de dichter en Enn Soosaar



Here you grew up


Here you grew up. On a land which is flat.
You get your peace and balance from that.


The Egg Hill remains the cloud-frontier
The clouds are low and mouse-grey here.


One ticket to the world was meant for you.
You can still check whether it’s all true.


What Mecca is to a Moslem believer,
these woods are to you with mushroom-fever.


Here you were born. On a land which is flat.
Your peace and balance stem from that.



Vertaald door Ivar Ivask



Paul-Eerik Rummo (Tallinn, 19 januari 1942)


De Nederlandse dichteres en schrijfster Marie Koenen werd geboren in ’s-Hertogenbosch op 19 januari 1879. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.

Ze kwamen

En toch zijn hier Gods Heiligen geland.
Hun zeilsnik kwam eens met de meeuwen strijken
Uit ’t ochtendlicht, hier, aan dit zelfde strand.

Om met hun diepst geluk haar te verrijken,
Zochten ze zingend de overzeesche kust,
De twaalef, die op koningen gelijken.

Ewald en Adelbert en Werenfried
En de anderen, die met Sint Wilbert kwamen,
Veroveraars voor God en Zijn gebied.

De zang der zee druischt door hun heldennamen,
Zooals Gods waarheid door hun heldengeest,
Ze trekken op, sterk als een leger samen.

Wel even sterk in God en onbevreesd
Als ’t twaalfetal door Christus uitgezonden,
Die de veroveraars van volken zijn geweest.

Ze hebben d’ingang tot het land gevonden,
Tusschen de duinen de open groene poort,
Waardoor de Rijn in de Noordzee komt monden.

Ze roeien ’t schip door ’t klare water voort,
De vlakte door, den droom der verte tegen,
En bidden: ‘In den aanvang was het woord’.

Bleef dan ook van hun stem, hun zang, hun zegen
Geen laatste naklank leven aan dit strand,
Geen zweem van hun gestalte op deze wegen,
Geen spoor meer van hun voetstap in het zand:
Gods Heiligen, ze zijn hier toch geland.


Marie Koenen (19 januari 1879 – 11 juli 1959)