Rafael Alberti, Pierre Lachambeaudie, V.S. Pritchett, Mary Russell Mitford, Olavo Bilac

De Spaanse dichter en schrijver Rafael Alberti werd geboren op 16 december 1902 in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz). Zie ook mijn blog van 16 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2010.


It is when gulfs and bays of blood,

clotted with dead and vengeful stars,

flood into my dreams.

When gulfs and bays of blood

capsize the beds that were sailing,

and, on the world’s right, an angel dies forgotten.

When the winds reek of brimstone

and mouths by night taste of bone, glass, and wire.

Hear me.

I did not know that doors moved from place to place,

that souls could blush for their bodies,

nor that at the end of a tunnel, the light would bring death.

Hear me yet.

The sleepers want to run away.

But those graves of the sea are not still,

those graves which open through

neglect and weariness of the sky are not stable,

and the dawns stumble upon disfigured faces.

Hear me yet. There’s still more.

There are nights when the hours turn to stone in space,

when veins do not flow

and when the silences raise up centuries and gods to come.

A thunderbolt shuffles tongues and jumbles words.

Think of the shattered spheres,

of the dry orbits of the uninhabited men,

of the dumb millennia.

More, more yet. Hear me.

You can see that bodies are not where they were,

that the moon is growing cold through being stared at,

and that a child’s crying deforms the constellations.

Mildewed skies corrode our desert brows,

where each minute buries its nameless corpse.

Hear me, hear me for the last time.

For there’s always a last time

that follows the fall of the high wasteland,

the advent of the cold in forgetful dreams,

and death’s headlong stoops upon the skeleton of nothingness.


Vertaald door Geoffrey Connell


Rafael Alberti (16 december 1902 – 27 oktober 1999)

Monument in El Puerto de Santa María


De Franse fabeldichter Pierre Lachambeaudie werd geboren op 16 december 1807 bij Sarlat. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2010.


Le pigeon et la grenouille

Le pigeon se mirait au bord d’un clair ruisseau :
“Que des poissons, dit-il, le sort me fait envie !
Ne dit-on pas : heureux comme un poisson dans l’eau ?
De milans, de chasseurs, ma race poursuivie
Traîne les jours les plus affreux…”

La grenouille cria : “Les poissons sont heureux ?
Demandez au goujon quand le brochet le happe ;
Demandez au brochet quand le pêcheur l’attrape…
Croyez bien qu’ici-bas le ciel sut ménager
A chacun sa part de danger.”


Pierre Lachambeaudie (16 december 1807 – 7 juli 1872)


De Britse schrijver en criticus (Victor Sawdon)V. S. Pritchett werd geboren op 16 december 1900 in Ipswich, Suffolk. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2010. .


Uit: London Perceived

„Twenty-three miles of industrial racket, twenty-three miles of cement works, paper-mills, power stations, dock basins, cranes and conveyors shattering to the ear. From now on, no silence. In the bar at thre Royal Clarence at Gravesend, once a house built for a duke’s mistress, it is all talk of up-anchoring, and everyone has an eye on the ships going down as the ebb begins, at the rate of two a minute. The tugs blaspheme. One lives in an orchestra of chuggings, whinings, the clanking and croaking of anchors, the spinning of winches, the fizz of steam, and all kinds of shovellings, rattlings, and whistlings, broken once in a while by a loud human voice shouting an unprintable word. Opposite are the liners like hotels, waiting to go to Africa, India, the Far East; down come all the traders of Europe and all the flags from Finland to Japan. You take in lungfuls of coal smoke and diesel fume; the docks and wharves send out stenches in clouds across the water: gusts of raw timber, coal gas, camphor, and the gluey, sickly reek of bulk sugar. The Thames smells of goods: of hides, the muttonish reek of wool, the heady odours of hops, the sharp smell of packing cases, of fish, frozen meat, bananas from Tenerife, bacon from Scandanavia,


Londen, 2011


Before us are ugly places with ancient names where the streets are packed with clownish Cockneys and West Indian immigrants, the traffic heavy. Some of them on the north side between Tilbury and Bethnal Green are slums, dismal, derelict, bombed; some of them so transformed since 1940 by fine building that places with bad names – Ratcliff Highway and Limehouse Causeway and Wapping – are now respectable and even elegant. The old East End has a good deal been replaced by a welfare city since 1946.“


V.S. Pritchett ( 16 december 1900 – 20 maart 1997)


De Engelse schrijfster Mary Russell Mitford werd geboren op 16 december 1787 in Alresford, Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2010.


Uit: Aunt Deborah

„A crosser old woman than Mrs. Deborah Thornby was certainly not to be found in the whole village of Hilton. Worth, in country phrase, a power of money, and living (to borrow another rustic expression) upon her means, the exercise of her extraordinary faculty for grumbling and scolding seemed the sole occupation of her existence, her only pursuit, solace, and amusement; and really it would have been a great pity to have deprived the poor woman of a pastime so consolatory to herself, and which did harm to nobody: her family consisting only of an old labourer, to guard the house, take care of her horse, her cow, and her chaise and cart, and work in the garden, who was happily, for his comfort, stone deaf, and could not hear her vituperation, and of a parish girl of twelve, to do the indoor work, who had been so used to be scolded all her life, that she minded the noise no more than a miller minds the clack of his mill, or than people who live in a churchyard mind the sound of the church bells, and would probably, from long habit, have felt some miss of the sound had it ceased, of which, by the way, there was small danger, so long as Mrs. Deborah continued in this life. Her crossness was so far innocent that it hurt nobody except herself. But she was also cross-grained, and that evil quality is unluckily apt to injure other people; and did so very materially in the present instance.“


Mary Russell Mitford (16 dcember 1787 – 10 januari 1855)

Portret door Benjamin Robert Haydon


De Braziliaanse dichter Olavo Bilac werd geboren op 16 december 1865 in Rio de Janeiro. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 december 2010.



There are in space millions of gentle stars,

To the reach of your sight… but thou conjecture

The ones thou don´t see, igneous and obscure roses

Exuberating in the farthest height of heights.

There are in Earth millions of beautiful women,

To the reach of your desire… but thou search for

The ones who don´t live, dream and affection thou do not enjoy

Neither will, past or future visions.

Thus, in an abstraction of numbers and images,

Thou live. You look with boredom at the isolated and sad planet

And find the heavenly vault desert and dark.

And thou´ll die, alone, between two mirages:

The stars with no name- the light thou´ve never seen,

And the women with no body- the love thou´ve not had!


Vertaald door Doidimais Brasil


Olavo Bilac (16 december 1865 – 28 december 1918)

Olavo Bilac, Alberto de Oliveira en Raimundo Correia