Roger McGough, Mohammed Iqbal, Karin Kiwus, Imre Kertész, Carl Sagan, Raymond Devos

De Engelse dichter en schrijver Roger Joseph McGough werd geboren op 9 november 1937 in Litherland, Lancashire. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010


The Leader

I wanna be the leader

I wanna be the leader

Can I be the leader?

Can I? I can?

Promise? Promise?

Yippee I’m the leader

I’m the leader


The Identification

So you think its Stephen?

Then I’d best make sure

Be on the safe side as it were.

Ah, theres been a mistake. The hair

you see, its black, now Stephens fair …

Whats that? The explosion?

Of course, burnt black. Silly of me.

I should have known. Then lets get on.

The face, is that the face mask?

that mask of charred wood

blistered scarred could

that have been a child’s face?

The sweater, where intact, looks

in fact all too familiar.

But one must be sure.

The scoutbelt. Yes thats his.

I recognise the studs he hammered in

not a week ago. At the age

when boys get clothes-conscious

now you know. Its almost

certainly Stephen. But one must

be sure. Remove all trace of doubt.

Pull out every splinter of hope.

Pockets. Empty the pockets.

Handkerchief? Could be any schoolboy’s.

Dirty enough. Cigarettes?

Oh this can’t be Stephen.

I dont allow him to smoke you see.

He wouldn’t disobey me. Not his father.

But that’s his penknife. Thats his alright.

And thats his key on the keyring

Gran gave him just the other night.

Then this must be him.

I think I know what happened

… … … about the cigarettes

No doubt he was minding them

for one of the older boys.

Yes thats it.

Thats him.

Thats our Stephen.


Roger McGough (Litherland, 9 november 1937)


De Indische dichter en schrijver Mohammed Iqbal werd geboren op 9 november 1877 in Sialkot in het tegenwoordige Pakistan. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010


Uit: Javid Nama (Book of Eternity, vertaald door Arthur J. Arberry)

Life out of the delight of absence and presence

fashioned forth this world of near and far;

so snapped asunder the thread of the moment

and mixed the hues of Time’s house of amazement.

On all sides, out of the joyous yearning for habitude

arose the cry: ‘I am one thing, you are another.’

The moon and the stars learned the way to walk,

a hundred lamps were kindled in the firmament.
In the azure heavens the sun pitched

its gold-cloth tent with its silver ropes,

raised its head over the rim of the first dawn

and drew to its breast the new-born world.

Man’s realm was a heap of earth, no more,

an empty wilderness, without a caravan;

not a river wrestled in any mountain,

not a cloud sprinkled on any desert,

no chanting of birds among the branches,

no leaping of deer amidst the meadow.

Sea and land lacked the spirit’s manifestations,

a curling vapour was the mantle of earth’s body;

the grasses, never having known the breeze of March,

still slumbered within the depths of earth.

The azure sky then chided the earth, saying:

‘I never saw anyone pass so miserable a life!

In all my breadth what creature is so blind as you?

What light is yours, save that drawn from my lamp?

Be earth high as Alvand, yet it is only earth,

it is not bright and eternal as the skies.


Mohammed Iqbal (9 november 1877 – 21 april 1938)



De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Karin Kiwus werd geboren op 9 november 1942 in Berlijn. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010



Wenn nichts mehr

Übrigbleibt außer

Einer Müdigkeit,

Die sich wortlos,


Zurückziehen will von allem

Dann wäre es vielleicht

Doch gut, manchmal


Einen Namen

Zu wissen, den man

Murmeln könnte,

Ohne im Geringsten

Eine Erscheinung

Noch zu erwarten.


Schon genug

Unterwegs pickt der Spatz

Schnell noch mal

An der Bananenschale herum,

Setzt mit drei Sprüngen,

Von der Bahnsteigkante zur nächsten Pfütze

Trinkt ein paar Schluck,
Wartet den Schnabel erhoben

Bis die Kurswagen vorbei ziehn,

Schwingt sich dann

Leicht über die Gleise,

Landet in Fahrtrichtung

Und scheißt

Auf eine blanke Schiene

Karin Kiwus (Berlijn, 9 november 1942)

Berlijn, Unter den Linden


De joods-Hongaarse schrijver Imre Kertész werd geboren op 9 november 1929 in Boedapest. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010


Uit: Fateless

„I know of three means of escape from a concentration camp, because I either saw, heard, or experienced them. I lived by the first one, the most modest, perhaps: there is one aspect of human nature that, I had learned in school, is also a person’s inalienable right. It is true that our imagination remains free even in captivity. I could, for instance, achieve this freedom while my hands were busy with a shovel or a pickax — with a moderate exertion, limiting myself to the most essential movements only. I myself was simply not there. But still, imagination is only free within certain boundaries . . . .

Everybody knew full well what could result when a wake-up call in a concentration camp failed to wake up those who no longer wanted to be wakened. And there were those. This was the second route of escape. Who was not tempted — once, at least once — to do this? . . .

Finally there is the third, the most literal meaning of escape to consider. It seems there had been one example of that, only once, in our camp. There were three real escapees, all three Latvians, who were experienced and versed in the geography of the area and the German language, secure in what they were doing — so the rumor went. . . . The next evening on their return I tried not to look to the right. For there stood three chairs, and on them were three men, or rather three manlike creatures. . . . I also saw some kind of a construction . . . with three looped ropes hanging down from them, and I understood that this was a gallows…

Here three months sufficed for my body to desert me. I can say for certain that nothing is more awkward, nothing more discouraging, than noticing day after day, keeping track day after day, of how much we have rotted away. . . .

Let’s not exaggerate things, for this is precisely the hurdle: I am here, and I know full well that I have to accept the prize of being allowed to live. Yes, as I look around me in this gentle dusk in this square on a storm-beaten yet full-of-thousands-of-promises street, I already begin to feel how readiness is growing, collecting inside me. I have to continue my uncontinuable life. My mother is waiting for me.“


Imre Kertész (Boedapest, 9 november 1929)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010.


De Amerikaanse schrijver, astronoom en populariseerder van de wetenschap Carl Edward Sagan werd geboren in New York op 9 november 1934. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2008.


De Belgische humorist, cabaretier en schrijver Raymond Devos werd geboren in Moeskroen op 9 november 1922. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2008.