Roberto Bolaño, Harper Lee, Karl Kraus, Nezahualcóyotl

De Chileense dichter en schrijver Roberto Bolaño werd geboren op 28 april 1953 in Santiago de Chile. Zie ook alle tags voor Roberto Bolaño op dit blog.




Listen carefully, my son: bombs were falling
over Mexico City
but no one even noticed.
The air carried poison through
the streets and open windows.
You’d just finished eating and were watching
cartoons on TV.
I was reading in the bedroom next door
when I realized we were going to die.
Despite the dizziness and nausea I dragged myself
to the kitchen and found you on the floor.
We hugged. You asked what was happening
and I didn’t tell you we were on death’s program
but instead that we were going on a journey,
one more, together, and that you shouldn’t be afraid.
When it left, death didn’t even
close our eyes.
What are we? you asked a week or year later,
ants, bees, wrong numbers
in the big rotten soup of chance?
We’re human beings, my son, almost birds,
public heroes and secrets.



Ernesto Cardenal and I


I was out walking, sweaty and with hair plastered

to my face

when I saw Ernesto Cardenal approaching

from the opposite direction

and by way of greeting I said:

Father, in the Kingdom of Heaven

that is communism,

is there a place for homosexuals?

Yes, he said.  

And for impenitent masturbators?

For sex slaves?

For sex fools?

For sadomasochists, for whores, for those obsessed  

with enemas,  

for those who can’t take it anymore, those who really truly  

can’t take it anymore?

And Cardenal said yes.  

And I raised my eyes

and the clouds looked like

the pale pink smiles of cats

and the trees cross-stitched on the hill

(the hill we’ve got to climb)

shook their branches.  

Savage trees, as if saying

some day, sooner rather than later, you’ll have to come

into my rubbery arms, into my scraggly arms,

into my cold arms. A botanical frigidity

that’ll stand your hair on end.



Vertaald door Laura Healy



Roberto Bolaño (28 april 1953 – 15 juli 2003)


De Amerikaans schrijfster Nelle Harper Lee werd geboren in Monroeville op 28 april 1926. Zie ook alle tags voor Harper Lee op dit blog.


Uit: To Kill a Mockingbird


“Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.

We lived on the main residential street in town–Atticus, Jem and I, plus Calpurnia our cook. Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment.

Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard. She was always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn’t behave as well as Jem when she knew he was older, and calling me home when I wasn’t ready to come. Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side. She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember.”



Harper Lee (Monroeville, 28 april 1926)
Gregory  Peck als Atticus Finch en Brock Peters als Tom Robinson in de film uit 1962


De Joods-Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en journalist Karl Kraus werd geboren in Jičin, Bohemen, Oostenrijk-Hongarije (thans Tsjechië) op 28 april 1874. Zie ook alle tags voor Karl Kraus op dit blog.



Aus jungen Tagen


Nie kann es anders sein.

Nun wirft mein Glaube keinen Schatten mehr.

Von deinem großen Lichte kam er her,

von des Geschlechtes rätselhaftem Schein.


Nun bin ich ganz im Licht,

das milde überglänzt mein armes Haupt.

Ich habe lange nicht an Gott geglaubt.

Nun weiß ich um sein letztes Angesicht.


Wie es den Zweifel bannt!

Wie wirst du Holde klar mir ohne Rest.

Wie halt’ ich dich in deinem Himmel fest!

Wie hat die Erde deinen Werth verkannt.


Du gabst dich zum Geschenk

der Welt, ich hab es für dich aufbewahrt.

Ich habe Gott den größten Schmerz erspart.

Geliebte, bleibe deiner eingedenk!


Wie glänzt mir deine Pracht.

Dein Menschliches umarmt, der beten will.

Er heiligt es im Kuß. Wie ist sie still

von Sternen, deiner Nächte tiefste Nacht.


Nie soll es anders sein.

Ob alles Irdische zerbricht und stirbt,

nur dein Zerfall ein geistig Glück verdirbt.

Vergib dich an die Erde nicht, sei Dein!



Bessere Methode


Sie wußten es, sie sagen fest und steif:
das Volk hier ist zur Freiheit noch nicht reif.
Damit das Volk zur Freiheit endlich reife,
zäumt man das losgelassne Pferd beim Schweife.
Es kann das Volk, wer sollt’ es nicht begreifen,
nur in der Sklaverei zur Freiheit reifen.



Karl Kraus (28 april 1874 – 12 juni 1936



De Meso-Amerikaanse dichter en filosoof
Nezahualcóyotl werd geboren in Texcoco op 28 april 1402. Zie ook alle tags voor Nezahualcóyotl op dit blog.




Flowers descend to earth, Life Giver sends them, sacred yellow flowers. Ohuaya ohuaya.


Let all be adorned, princes, lords. Life Giver sends them, these wailing piles of sacred flowers, these golden flowers. Ohuaya ohuaya.


What do our hearts want on this earth? Heart pleasure. Life Giver, let us borrow your flowers, these golden flowers, these wailing flowers. No one can enjoy them forever, for we must depart. Ahuaye ohuaya ohuaya.

Though they may be gold, you will hide them, though they may be your jades, your plumes. We only borrow them. No one can enjoy them forever, for we must depart. Ahuaye ohuaya ohuaya.


O friends, to a good place we’ve come to live, come in springtime! In that place a very brief moment! So brief is life!


I, Yoyontzin, say, Here our hearts are glad. Friends, we have come to know each other and each other’s beautiful words. Yet they are also dark. Ohuaya ohuaya.


Yes, I suffer, grieve, I am joyless, inconsolable on Earth. Ohuaya ohuaya.


I am a hawk. My heart longs for Life Giver God’s glory. Here on earth lords are born and they rule through his glory. Ohuaya ohuaya.



Vertaald door John Curl



Nezahualcóyotl (28 april 1402 – 4 juni 1472)




Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 28e april ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.