Uit: The Long Way Home
Alloa, Scotland‚December 1988
As she left the driveway and ran down the narrow lane leading to the farm, the silence of that cold winter morning was absolute, save for the crunch of breaking ice as her Doc Martens stamped through the puddles that ran ribbon-like along the rutted track. Tears glistened on her rosy cheeks, but the broad smile on her face showed that they were due to the frigid air nipping at her brown eyes rather than from any feeling of unhappiness. In fact, Claire Barclay could not have been happier. The cold that penetrated her padded jacket and bit at her ears through the woolly hat she wore pulled over her short hennaed hair was counteracted by a tingling warmth flooding from deep within.
Because Claire Barclay was most definitely in love.
Actually, she had been in love with Jonas Fairweather, expert motor mechanic and budding champion rally driver, ever since she had first come to Scotland at the age of eleven, but even though she had spent nearly every day of the next seven years in his company, she had never told him. And he had never said anything to her. They had never even kissed.
So the question that had arisen on so many occasions in Claire’s mind was when to broach this subject, and take their friendship from its present stage into one of deep and everlasting affection.
Today was the day, the time was right. She had finished with school and now had nine months to spend with Jonas before she went on to university at St. Andrews. And it was Christmas, the season of glad tidings. The previous evening, they had been together in the workshop, and they had talked and laughed while he worked on his car until well after eleven o’clock. When she left, his farewell had not been the usual muffled goodbye called out from the depths of the car engine. He had walked with her to the door and stood close, spinning a spanner in his hand, catching her eye and smiling at her. She had sensed then that something was going to happen, but he had just slipped the spanner into the pocket of his coveralls, pushed the door open and said, “See you tomorrow then.”
Robin Pilcher (Dundee, 10 augustus 1950)
De Braziliaanse schrijver Jorge Amado de Fariawerd op 10 augustus 1912 geboren in Ferradas, in de gemeente Itabuna. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 augustus 2007en ook mijn blog van 10 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 10 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 10 augustus 2010
Uit: The War Of The Saints (Vertaald door Gregory Rabassa)
“Look after her during the crossing. Pay particular attention at the mouth of the river–the currents are tricky there, and the wind blows hard. God go with you.”
Aided by the vicar, the sexton, and Dona Canô, amidst the prayers and applause of a fidgety gathering of church biddies, the priest and the nun proceeded with the embarkation ceremony. During the slippery descent, however, they preferred to entrust the litter that bore the figure on its pilgrimage into the seafaring hands of Master Manuel and his wife Maria Clara, who deposited it with reverential care in the stern of the sloop. There, standing erect, the majestic effigy of the Catholic saint looked like a ship’s figurehead, a votive carving for the bow, a pagan and protective entity.
The Nun and the Priest
As the late afternoon breeze filled its proud sails, the sloop sped along with the saint. At the helm, Master Manuel smiled at the reverend father and the good sister: Don’t be afraid, Saint Barbara’s in no danger.
Sitting alongside the litter, Maria Clara saw to the stability of the saint, prevented the lurching of the sloop from upsetting its balance. “Don’t you worry,” she had added to reassure them, while she examined and praised the extravagance of the lining of the litter, made with all the refinements of brocade and ribbon, trimming and lace fashioned for the occasion by the devout ladies of the sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death in the neighboring town of Cachoeira, pious old women, first-rate artists. Oh, if it had been up to them, the saint would have traveled all covered with gold and silver, old gold, sterling silver, but the director of the museum had peremptorily turned them down. He’d even refused the sisterhood’s reliquary–nasty man!
Jorge Amado (10 augustus 1912 – 6 augustus 2001)
Tu as le remords
Tu as le remords d’avoir tué ton père sans avoir même acquis cent années de souvenirs.
Toujours les neurasthénies comme des fleurs en mie de pain.
Si tu essayais du tric-trac.
Sautent les dés.
Homme ou femme?
Chien ou chat?
Mais il y aura le chien qui sera tout de même un chat,
encore la vieille chanson des départs qui restent
et puis ce fauteuil de bois.
Les poitrines n’ont plus qu’un sein tout en haut des corps sans sexes;
Ton enfance fut aux curés en jupes de femmes;
dans la crypte du Sacré-Coeur tu n’as pas su faire l’amour.
Un oiseau dans ton cerveau.
Cet oiseau sans voix,
cet oiseau qui n’a pas volé,
cet oiseau qui n’a pas chanté,
apte au seul frisson de l’inutilité.
Comme des frères il aimait,
les bateaux petits;
leur essaim posé
n’a rien enseigné.
Rouille, sang de carcasses
figé dans la mort,
et puis toujours et puis encor
alentour une eau si lasse
avec le plomb des ménagères
trop souvent mères.
Tu as froid mais ne sait ni mourir ni pleurer.
Triste entre les quais méchants
que tout homme ici-bas méprise,
tu vas, fleuve des villes grises
et sans espoir d’océan
René Crevel (10 augustus 1900 – 18 juni 1935)
Distant Yet Never So Close
distant yet never so close
we walk a sinking earth
lying down on her or simply standing
we feel the bucking of time
it’s not about fearful flames
nor ungovernable seas
on this earth mind and body
have the same ebb and flow
in the air that lacks weight
since nothing differs in memory
from what we have seen or imagined
we dream as we live
waiting without certainty or science
the only thing we suspect beyond question
the last chord in this vague music
which envelops us
explicit as a flower
persuades us with petals and signs
to swirl on our axis
stained with ink to drink imagined lips
from the oldest and most mortal wineskin
the sky would be a dark place
a space of light
in the eye that looks at itself
in the hand that closes
to clutch hold of itself
out in the immense open
when all’s said and done like the one who closes the coffin
or a letter
a ray of sunlight
will rise up like a sword to blind us
and gradually open the darkness
like an unexpectedly wounded fruit
like a door which hides nothing
and guards nothing more
Vertaald door Gwenn MacKeith
Blanca Varela (10 augustus 1926 – 12 maart 2009)
Uit: Lady of Hay
“Basically I like the idea,” Bet Gunning leaned across the table, her eyes, as they focused on Jo’s face, intense behind the large square lenses of her glasses.
Jo was watching her intently, admiring Bet’s professionalism after the relaxed lunch at Wheeler’s.
Their eyes met and both women smiled appreciatively. They had been friends for five years, ever since Bet had taken over as editor of Women in Action. Jo had been on the staff then, learning the trade of journalism. She learned fast. When she left to go freelance it was because she could name her figure for the articles she was producing.
“‘Anything Ethnic,’ ‘Medieval Medicine,’ ‘Cosmic Consciousness’—my God, what’s that?—‘Meditation and Religion’—you’ll have to keep that light—” Bet was going through the list in her head. “‘Regression: Is history still alive?’ That’s the reincarnation one, yes? I read an article about it somewhere quite recently. It was by an American woman, if I remember, and totally credulous. I must try to look it up. You will, of course, be approaching it from quite the opposite standpoint.”
Jo smiled. “They tried it on me once, at the university. That’s what gave me the idea. The world authority on the subject, Michael Cohen, tried to put me under—and failed. He gave me the creeps! The whole thing is rubbish.”
Bet gave a mock sigh. “Okay, Jo, show me the outlines. I’m thinking in terms of a New Year or spring slot so you’ve got plenty of time. Now, what about illustrations? Are you fixed up or do you want them done in house?”
“I want Tim Heacham.”
“You’ll be lucky! He’s booked solid these days. And he’d cost.”
“He’ll do it for me.”
Bet raised an eyebrow. “Does he know that?”
“He will soon.”
“And what will Nick say?”
Jo’s face tightened for a moment. “Nick Franklyn can go take a running jump, Bet.”
“I see. That bad?”
“He’s moved out?”
“He’s moved out. With cream, please.” Jo smiled up at the waiter who had approached with the coffeepot.
Barbara Erskine (Nottingham, 10 augustus 1944)
Zie voor onderstaande dichters ook mijn blog van 10 augustus 2010
De Russische schrijver Michail Michailovitsj Zosjtsjenko werd geboren in Sint-Petersburg op 10 augustus 1895.
De Duitse dichter en pastor Philipp Nicolai werd geboren in Mengeringhausen op 10 augustus 1556
De Franse schrijver Joseph Bialot werd op 10 Augustus 1923 geboren in Warschau.