Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Sabina Lorenz, Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, Saul Williams, Ralph Ellison

De Japanse dichter en schrijver Ryūnosuke Akutagawa werd geboren op 1 maart 1892 in Tokio. Zie ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2010. 


Uit: In a Grove (Vertaald door Takashi Kojima)


„Yes, sir. Certainly, it was I who found the body. This morning, as usual, I went to cut my daily quota of cedars, when I found the body in a grove in a hollow in the mountains. The exact location? About 150 meters off the Yamashina stage road. It’s an out-of-the-way grove of bamboo and cedars.

The body was lying flat on its back dressed in a bluish silk kimono and a wrinkled head-dress of the Kyoto style. A single sword-stroke had pierced the breast. The fallen bamboo-blades around it were stained with bloody blossoms. No, the blood was no longer running. The wound had dried up, I believe. And also, a gad-fly was stuck fast there, hardly noticing my footsteps.

You ask me if I saw a sword or any such thing? No, nothing, sir. I found only a rope at the root of a cedar near by. And . . . well, in addition to a rope, I found a comb. That was all. Apparently he must have made a battle of it before he was murdered, because the grass and fallen bamboo-blades had been trampled down all around.

“A horse was near by?” No, sir. It’s hard enough for a man to enter, let alone a horse. The Testimony of a Traveling Buddhist Priest Questioned by a High Police Commissioner The time? Certainly, it was about noon yesterday, sir. The unfortunate man was on the road from Sekiyama to Yamashina. He was walking toward Sekiyama with a woman accompanying him on horseback, who I have since learned was his wife. A scarf hanging from her head hid her face from view. All I saw was the color of her clothes, a lilac-colored suit. Her horse was a sorrel with a fine mane. The lady’s height? Oh, about four feet five inches. Since I am a Buddhist priest, I took little notice about her details. Well, the man was armed with a sword as well as a bow and arrows. And I remember that he carried some twenty odd arrows in his quiver.“



Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1 maart 1892 – 24 juli 1927)


De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Sabina Lorenz werd geboren op 1 maart 1967 in München. Zie ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2010.


Abend, offen


In den Straßen wächst Licht (take your time), tröstlich

bunte Einkaufstüten und bunte Kinder, sagt sie, Namen

im Mund, Luxus für alle im Lidl. So entstehen Räume.

Nach hinten raus gibts Brot von gestern, kaum

ahnt man wie sicher die Landschaft geworden ist. Und

unter der Linde, Lidl-Linde, sagt sie, parken tröstlich

bunte Wagen, Baumtraum, sagt sie, also

Parkplatz, Menschen, Einkaufstüten, ob das

wohl für Linden ewig sei, und wie lang

für Linden ewig sei, also ewig, sagt sie, ewig also

ist genauso, als ob es das nie gegeben, sagt sie

eine Zigarette lang, dann erlischt das Licht (take

away), nach hinten raus ist die Linde eine sichere

Geliebte. Den Ort zu bleiben gibts dort auch.


Sabina Lorenz (München, 1 maart 1967)




De Amerikaanse dichter Robert Traill Spence Lowell werd geboren op 1 maart 1917 in Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2010.


Children of Light 


Our fathers wrung their bread from stocks and stones

And fenced their gardens with the Redmen’s bones;

Embarking from the Nether Land of Holland,

Pilgrims unhouseled by Geneva’s night,

They planted here the Serpent’s seeds of light;

And here the pivoting searchlights probe to shock

The riotous glass houses built on rock,

And candles gutter by an empty altar,

And light is where the landless blood of Cain

Is burning, burning the unburied grain.





Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme–

why are they no help to me now

I want to make

something imagined, not recalled?

I hear the noise of my own voice:

The painter’s vision is not a lens,

it trembles to caress the light.

But sometimes everything I write

with the threadbare art of my eye

seems a snapshot,

lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,

heightened from life,

yet paralyzed by fact.

All’s misalliance.

Yet why not say what happened?

Pray for the grace of accuracy

Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination

stealing like the tide across a map

to his girl solid with yearning.

We are poor passing facts,

warned by that to give

each figure in the photograph

his living name.


Robert Lowell (1 maart 1917 – 12 September 1977)




De Amerikaanse dichter Richard Wilbur werd geboren op 1 maart 1921 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2010.


The Writer


In her room at the prow of the house

Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,

My daughter is writing a story.


I pause in the stairwell, hearing

>From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys

Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.


Young as she is, the stuff

Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:

I wish her a lucky passage.


But now it is she who pauses,

As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.

A stillness greatens, in which


The whole house seems to be thinking,

And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor

Of strokes, and again is silent.


I remember the dazed starling

Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;

How we stole in, lifted a sash


And retreated, not to affright it;

And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,

We watched the sleek, wild, dark


And iridescent creature

Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove

To the hard floor, or the desk-top,


And wait then, humped and bloody,

For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits

Rose when, suddenly sure,


It lifted off from a chair-back,

Beating a smooth course for the right window

And clearing the sill of the world.


It is always a matter, my darling,

Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish

What I wished you before, but harder.



Richard Wilbur (New York, 1 maart 1921)




De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver, acteur, rapper en musicus Saul Stacey Williams werd geboren in  Newburgh, New York op 29 februari 1972. Zie ook mijn blog van 28 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2010.


Uit: Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop


„There is no music more powerful than hip-hop. No other music so purely demands an instant affirmative on such a global scale. When the beat drops, people nod their heads, “yes,” in the same way that they would in conversation with a loved one, a parent, professor, or minister. Instantaneously, the same mechanical gesture that occurs in moments of dialogue as a sign of agreement which subsequently, releases increased oxygen to the brain and, thus, broadens one’s ability to understand, becomes the symbolic and actual gesture that connects you to the beat. No other musical form has created such a raw and visceral connection to the heart while still incorporating various measures from other musical forms that then appeal to other aspects of the emotional core of an individual. Music speaks directly to the subconscious. The consciously simplified beat of the hip-hop drum speaks directly to the heart. The indigenous drumming of continental Africa is known to be primarily dense and quite often up-tempo. The drumming of the indigenous Americas, on the other hand, in its most common representation is primarily sparse and down-tempo. What happens when you put a mixer and cross-fader between those two cultural realities? What kind of rhythms and polyrhythms might you come up with? Perhaps one complex yet basic enough to synchronize the hearts of an entire generation.
To program a drumbeat is to align an external rhythmic device to an individual’s biorhythm. I remember being introduced to the hip hop/electronica sub-genre, drum and bass, by one of its pioneers, Goldie. I accompanied him to his DJ set at the London club, the Blue Note“



Saul Williams (Newburgh, 29 februari 1972)




De Afro-Amerikaanse schrijver Ralph (Waldo) Ellison werd geboren in Oklahoma City op 1 maart 1913. Zie ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 1 maart 2010.


Uit: Living With Music


„It is to marvel: the ageless and irrepressible Duke Ellington is seventy, and another piano player of note, President Richard M. Nixon, has ordered in his honor a state dinner to be served in the house where, years ago, Duke’s father, then a butler, once instructed white guests from the provinces in the gentle art and manners proper to such places of elegance and power. It is good news in these times of general social upheaval that traces of the old American success story remain valid, for now where the parent labored the son is to be honored for his achievements. And perhaps it is inevitable that Duke Ellington should be shown the highest hospitality of the nation’s First Family in its greatest house, and that through the courtesy of the chief of state all Americans may pay, symbolically, their respects to our greatest composer.

Perhaps it is also inevitable (and if not inevitable, certainly it is proper) that that which a Pulitzer Prize jury of a few years ago was too insecure, or shortsighted, to do, and that which our institutions dedicated to the recognition of artistic achievement have been too prejudiced, negligent, or concerned with European models and styles to do, is finally being done by presidents. For it would seem that Ellington’s greatness has been recognized by everyone except those charged with recognizing musical excellence at the highest levels—and even some of these have praised him privately while failing to grant him public honor.“


Ralph Ellison (1 maart 1913 –  16 april 1994)