It was an April morning: fresh and clear
It was an April morning: fresh and clear
The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
Ran with a young man’s speed; and yet the voice
Of waters which the winter had supplied
Was softened down into a vernal tone.
The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
And hopes and wishes, from all living things
Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
The steps of June; as if their various hues
Were only hindrances that stood between
Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
Such an entire contentment in the air
That every naked ash, and tardy tree
Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance
With which it looked on this delightful day
Were native to the summer.–Up the brook
I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
Alive to all things and forgetting all.
At length I to a sudden turning came
In this continuous glen, where down a rock
The Stream, so ardent in its course before,
Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all
Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice
Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb,
The shepherd’s dog, the linnet and the thrush
Vied with this waterfall, and made a song,
Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth
Or like some natural produce of the air,
That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here;
But ’twas the foliage of the rocks–the birch,
The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn,
With hanging islands of resplendent furze:
And, on a summit, distant a short space,
By any who should look beyond the dell,
A single mountain-cottage might be seen.
I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said,
‘Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook,
My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.’
—-Soon did the spot become my other home,
My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.
And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,
To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
Years after we are gone and in our graves,
When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
May call it by the name of EMMA’S DELL.
William Wordsworth (7 april 1770 – 23 april 1850)
Borstbeeld door Sir Francis Chantrey, rond 1820
The treasure at the heart of the rose
is your own heart’s treasure.
Scatter it as the rose does:
your pain becomes hers to measure.
Scatter it in a song,
or in one great love’s desire.
Do not resist the rose
lest you burn in its fire.
Song of Death
Old Woman Census-taker,
Death the Trickster,
when you’re going along,
don’t you meet my baby.
Sniffing at newborns,
smelling for the milk,
find salt, find cornmeal,
don’t find my milk.
Anti-Mother of the world,
on the beaches and byways,
don’t meet that child.
The name he was baptized,
that flower he grows with,
forget it, Rememberer.
Lose it, Death.
Let wind and salt and sand
drive you crazy, mix you up
so you can’t tell
East from West,
or mother from child,
like fish in the sea.
And on the day, at the hour,
find only me.
Gabriela Mistral (7 april 1889 – 10 januari 1957)
Ik liep toen voor het eerst
langs mij, door mij, over mij
Letters spraken tegen mij.
Ik zag prenten.
Ja, niets vergeten.
in door bomen
Nu kan ik niet zonder.
Weet ik niet zonder.
Wil ik niet zonder
Quinsy Gario (Curaçao, 7 april 1984)
De vogels hokken saam in de volière,
Eén hupt er van zijn stokje naar den grond,
en pikt in ’t zand of hij een zaadje vond,
Het vogelvoerrantsoen is hun misère.
Een groene kakatoe houdt hen er onder,
Die speelt brutaal de baas in ’t vogelhuis
en vreet veel meer dan al de and’ren thuis,
Hij gapt de klontjes – jullie doen ’t maar zonder.
Ze mogen ook niet fluiten wat ze willen,
Vooral ’t parkietenpaar met den gebogen neus
heeft haast geen leven bij dien laffen reus,
Die zou hen na ’t ontveren, ’t liefst nog willen villen.
Het puttertje moet heel den dag door zwoegen,
Dat trekt het water met zijn bekje op,
De kakatoe slorpt alles in zijn krop
en nooit is het dien beul nog naar genoegen.
De weduwvogel laat de pluimstaart hangen,
Haar lieve man viel aan den afsluitdijk,
Hun leven was zoo best, al hadden ze ’t niet rijk
Nu zit ze eenzaam in haar smart gevangen.
De sijs is steeds rebelsch, laat die maar loopen,
Die heeft van allemaal het scherpste oor,
Hij neurt om kwart voor twee: ‘wees stil nu, hoor
’t Is Purmerend’ – de grond van al hun hopen.
’t Kanariepietje (vrees’lijk is ’t te zeggen)
Tript dag en nacht de groene achterna.
Piet-piet, let op, wat ik nu zingen ga:
Ik moet als eerebruid een eitje van hem leggen.
De vogels hokken samen – en zij droomen
van ’t gouden uur van d’ overwinningsdag
waarop een elk weer vogel wezen mag
en trillers jub’len zal in Hollands boomen.
Henk Fedder (7 april 1890 – 29 mei 1979)
Amsterdam, Joods Historisch museum
Uit: This America of Ours. The Letters of Gabriela Mistral and Victoria Ocampo (Introductie door Elizabeth Horan and Doris Meyer)
“It was likewise at this time, in the early years of Sur’s publication, that Ocampo and Mistral developed the epistolary friendship that began with brief notes in the late 1920s, before they finally met in person in December 1934. The work of founding and directing Sur, first as a magazine and later as a publishing house, provided Ocampo with a challenging arena in which to exercise her considerable linguistic, diplomatic, and aesthetic skills. Undaunted by skeptics, Ocampo seized the initiative and established correspondences with the leading writers and artists of the time, bringing them and their work into the pages of Sur. In the cases of Ernest Ansermet, Hermann Keyserling, Drieu la Rochelle, and María de Maeztu–to name just a few–she tendered invitations to Argentina and provided lodging and public venues for their lectures. Within a short time of its founding, Sur gained a reputation as the leading magazine in Latin America for writing by both American and European authors. Her goal was ambitious and remains unparalleled: at the same time as Ocampo worked to make Sur a cultural bridge between continents, it became a definitive expression of national literary culture, as John King’s comprehensive study indicates.
Victoria Ocampo (7 april 1890 – 27 januari 1979)
Uit: Me and Miss Mandible
« Disaster once again. Tomorrow I am to be sent to a doctor, for observation. Sue Ann Brownly caught Miss Mandible and me in the cloakroom, during recess, and immediately threw a fit. For a moment I thought she was actually going to choke. She ran out of the room weeping, straight for the principal’s office, certain now which of us was Debbie, which Eddie, which Liz. I am sorry to be the cause of her disillusionment, but I know that she will recover. Miss Mandible is ruined but fulfilled. Although she will be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, she seems at peace; her promise has been kept. She knows now that everything she has been told about life, about America, is true.
I have tried to convince the school authorities that I am a minor only in a very special sense, that I am in fact mostly to blame — but it does no good. They are as dense as ever. My contemporaries are astounded that I present myself as anything other than an innocent victim. Like the Old Guard marching through the Russian drifts, the class marches to the conclusion that truth is punishment.
Bobby Vanderbilt has given me his copy of Sounds of Sebring, in farewell.”
Donald Barthelme (7 april 1931 – 23 juli 1989)