Robinson Jeffers, Alexei Tolstoy, Jan H. Eekhout, Aubrey Thomas de Vere, Giselher Werner Hoffmann

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver John Robinson Jeffers werd geboren op 10 januari 1887 in Allegheny, nu Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2010. 


To A Young Artist


It is good for strength not to be merciful
To its own weakness, good for the deep urn to run
over, good to explore
The peaks and the deeps, who can endure it,
Good to be hurt, who can be healed afterward: but
you that have whetted consciousness
Too bitter an edge, too keenly daring,
So that the color of a leaf can make you tremble
and your own thoughts like harriers
Tear the live mind: were your bones mountains,
Your blood rivers to endure it? and all that labor
of discipline labors to death.
Delight is exquisite, pain is more present;
You have sold the armor, you have bought shining
with burning, one should be stronger than
To fight baresark in the stabbing field
In the rage of the stars: I tell you unconsciousness
is the treasure, the tower, the fortress;
Referred to that one may live anything;
The temple and the tower: poor dancer on the flints
and shards in the temple porches, turn home.



The Bed By The Window


I chose the bed downstairs by the sea-window for a good death-bed
When we built the house, it is ready waiting,
Unused unless by some guest in a twelvemonth, who hardly suspects
Its latter purpose. I often regard it,
With neither dislike nor desire; rather with both, so equalled
That they kill each other and a crystalline interest
Remains alone. We are safe to finish what we have to finish;
And then it will sound rather like music
When the patient daemon behind the screen of sea-rock and sky
Thumps with his staff, and calls thrice: “Come, Jeffers.”



Robinson Jeffers (10 januari 1887 – 20 januari 1962)


De Russische schrijver Alexei Tolstoy werd geboren op 10 januari 1883 in Sosnovka. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2010.


Uit: Ordeal (Vertaald door Ivy en Tatiana Litinov)


„He began with general statements, speaking in level tones, trying to establish contact with the audience. He spoke of the world war, which the two predatory groups, who had each other by the throats, neither could nor would bring to an end-of the crazy profiteering in famine. He said only the proletarian revolu-tion could bring the war to an end…

He said there were two ways of fighting famine: one was unrestricted private trade, distending the profits of the speculators, the other-state monopoly. He moved three paces from the end of the table, and bent towards his audience, thrusting his thumbs into the armholes of his waistcoat. This pose brought into prominence his domed brow and big hands, and Dasha noticed that the index finger of his right hand was inky.

“We have always stood, and always will stand, shoulder to shoulder with the class together with which we came out against war, together with which we have overthrown the bourgeoisie, and together with which we are bearing the whole brunt of the present crisis. We must stand by grain monopoly to the end…” (At these words the young man with the toothy grin gave an approving grunt.) “It is our task to conquer famine, or at least to lessen its burden till the coming of the harvest, to enforce the grain monopoly, the rights of the Soviet government, the rights of the proletarian state. We must gather up all grain surpluses and see that stocks are sent where most needed, and are properly distributed…

“But our main task is to keep society going and see that the stupendous work required is never relaxed – and this can only be accomplished by united, unremitting effort…”

The breathless silence was broken by a hollow exclamation, the cry of some tormented soul stumbling on the icy ascent to which the man in the grey suit was urging them all. His brow seemed to hang above the audience-beneath its protuberances the eyes were steady, inexorable.“



Alexei Tolstoy (10 januari 1883 – 23 februari 1945)




De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Jan Eekhout werd geboren op 10 januari 1900 in Sluis. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2010.



Sonnet van den prijs der schoonheid


Sinds Schoonheids Wezen mij werd openbaar

In U, o Vrouw, vermag geen ander beeld,

Hoe aardsch volkomen ook en droom omstreeld,

Te schutten voor het goddelijk gevaar:


Het hemelsch vuur dat hart en ziel verteert,

De helle liefde die verlamt de kracht,

De helsche angst voor de onontkoombre macht

Des naderenden Doods, die àl vermeêrt.


Hier baat noch toorn, noch vloek, noch smeekgebed.

Geen heimlijk hol biedt schuil, geen vlucht die redt,

Geen die ’t beleg van God en Dood ontzet.


Wee mij, heil mij, die, Vrouw, aanvaardde uw eisch.

Maatlooze foltering is Schoonheids prijs.

Hoop. Wanhoop. Ondergang en Paradijs.


Jan H. Eekhout (10 januari 1900 – 6 maart 1978)



De Ierse dichter en criticus
Aubrey Thomas de Vere werd geboren in Adare, County Limerick, op 10 januari 1814. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2010.




“How can the babe baptiséd be
Where font is none and water none?”
Thus wept the nurse on bended knee,
And swayed the Infant in the sun.


“The blind priest took that Infant’s hand:
With that small hand, above the ground
He signed the Cross.  At God’s command
A fountain rose with brimming bound.


“In that pure wave from Adam’s sin
The blind priest cleansed the Babe with awe;
Then, reverently, he washed therein
His old, unseeing face, and saw!


“He saw the earth; he saw the skies,
And that all-wondrous Child decreed
A pagan nation to baptise,
To give the Gentiles light indeed.”


Thus Secknall sang.  Far off and nigh
The clansmen shouted loud and long;
While every mother tossed more high
Her babe, and glorying joined the song.



Aubrey Thomas de Vere (10 januari 1814 – 20 januari 1902)

De Franciscan Friary in Adare, County Limerick




De Duitstalige, uit Namibië stammende, schrijver Giselher Werner Hoffmann werd geboren op 10 januari 1958 in Windhoek. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 januari 2009.


Uit: Recensie: Ingrid Kubisch over Diamantenfieber


„Hoffmann gelingt es trotz des dauernden Wechselns zwischen den Zeitenabschnitten die Spannung zu halten, welche sich zum Ende hin verdichtet. Hoffmann hat gut recherchiert. Der Hintergrundinformationen über die Kolonialzeit, die sozialen Umstände der reichen Weißen, der armen Weißen und der armen Farbigen und Schwarzen als auch und den menschenunwürdigen Zuständen auf der Haifischinsel wird Genüge getan. Die Auskünfte über den Krieg und die Diamantensuche sind interessant und wirken nicht drosselnd auf das Geschehen noch hat man das Gefühl, dass die Geschichte der Harenbergs, der Schlütters und der Robertses in das Geschehen forciert worden wären. Die Geschichte hätte sich tatsächlich so abspielen können. Auch die kleinen aufschlussreichen Nebeninformationen, zum Beispiel wie man Fieberthermometer vor zu großer Hitze schützt, naturheilkundliche Behandlungen und Interessantes zur damaligen weiblichen Haarmode machen das Buch abwechslungsreich.“


Giselher Werner Hoffmann
(Windhoek, 10 januari 1958)