Julia Kasdorf, Evelyn Underhill

De Amerikaanse dichteres Julia Mae Spicher Kasdorf werd geboren op 6 december 1962 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Zie ook alle tags voor Julia Kasdorf op dit blog.


A Family History

At dusk the girl who will become my mom
must trudge through the snow, her legs
cold under skirts, a bandanna tight on her braids.
In the henhouse, a klook pecks her chapped hand
as she pulls a warm egg from under its breast.
This girl will always hate hens,
and she already knows she won’t marry a farmer.
In a dim barn, my father, a boy, forks hay
under the holsteins’ steaming noses.
They sway on their hooves and swat dangerous tails,
but he is thinking of snow, how it blows
across the gray pond scribbled with skate tracks,
of the small blaze on its shore, and the boys
in black coats who skate hand-in-hand
round and round, building up speed
until the leader cracks that whip
of mittens and arms, and it jerks around
fast, flinging off the last boy.
He’d be that one- flung like a spark
trailing only his scarf.


First Gestures

Among the first we learn is good-bye,
your tiny wrist between Dad’s forefinger
and thumb forced to wave bye-bye to Mom,
whose hand sails brightly behind a windshield.
Then it’s done to make us follow:
in a crowded mall, a woman waves, “Bye,
we’re leaving,” and her son stands firm
sobbing, until at last he runs after her,
among shoppers drifting like sharks
who must drag their great hulks
underwater, even in sleep, or drown.

Living, we cover vast territories;
imagine your life drawn on a map–
a scribble on the town where you grew up,
each bus trip traced between school
and home, or a clean line across the sea
to a place you flew once. Think of the time
and things we accumulate, all the while growing
more conscious of losing and leaving. Aging,
our bodies collect wrinkles and scars
for each place the world would not give
under our weight. Our thoughts get laced
with strange aches, sweet as the final chord
that hangs in a guitar’s blond torso.

Think how a particular ridge of hills
from a summer of your childhood grows
in significance, or one hour of light–
late afternoon, say, when thick sun flings
the shadow of Virginia creeper vines
across the wall of a tiny, white room
where a girl makes love for the first time.
Its leaves tremble like small hands
against the screen while she weeps
in the arms of her bewildered lover.
She’s too young to see that as we gather
losses, we may also grow in love;
as in passion, the body shudders
and clutches what it must release.


Een familiegeschiedenis

In de schemering moet het meisje dat mijn moeder zal worden
door de sneeuw sjokken, met koude benen
onder haar rok, een bandana strak om haar vlechten.

In het kippenhok pikt een kloek naar haar gebarsten hand,
terwijl ze een warm ei onder haar borst vandaan trekt.
Dit meisje zal altijd een hekel hebben aan kippen,
en ze weet al dat ze niet met een boer zal trouwen.
In een schemerige schuur, mijn vader, een jongen, schept hooi
onder de dampende neuzen van de holsteiners.
Ze zwaaien op hun hoeven en slaan gevaarlijk met de staart,
maar hij denkt aan sneeuw, hoe hij waait
over de grijze vijver, bekrast met schaatssporen,
aan de kleine vuurgloed op de oever, en de jongens
in zwarte jassen die hand in hand schaatsen,
alsmaar rond, snelheid opbouwend
totdat de leider die gesel van wanten en armen
doet kraken, en hij snel rond-
flitst, de laatste jongen van zich afschudt.
Hij zou die ene zijn – afgeschud als een vonkje,
alleen achter zijn sjaal aan.


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Julia Kasdorf (Lewistown, 6 december 1962)


De Engelse dichteres Anglo-katholieke mystica en theologe  Evelyn Underhill werd geboren op 6 december 1875 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire.  Zie ook alle tags voor Evelyn Underhillop dit blog.


The Naval Reserve

From the undiscovered deep
Where the blessed lie at ease —
Since the ancient navies keep
Empire of the heavenly seas —
Back they come, the mighty dead,
Quick to serve where they have led.

Rushing on the homeward gale,
Swift they come, to seek their place
Where the grey flotillas sail,
Where the children of their race
Now against the foe maintain
All they gave their lives to gain.

Rank on rank, the admirals
Rally to their old commands;
Where the crash of battle falls,
There the one-armed hero stands.
Loud upon his phantom mast
Speak the signals of the past.

Where upon the friendly wave
Stand our squadrons as of old,
Where the lonely deed and brave
Shall the ancient torch uphold —
Strive for England, side by side,
Those who live and those who died.


Evelyn Underhill (6 december 1875 – 15 juni 1941)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 6e december ook mijn blog van 6 december 2018 en ook mijn blog van 6 december 2017

Corpus Christi (Evelyn Underhill), William Styron, Christoph Meckel


Bij Sacramentsdag


De sacramentsprocessie In Sitges door Arcadi Mas i Fondevila, 1887


Corpus Christi

Come, dear Heart!
The fields are white to harvest: come and see
As in a glass the timeless mystery
Of love, whereby we feed
On God, our bread indeed.
Torn by the sickles, see him share the smart
Of travailing Creation: maimed, despised,
Yet by his lovers the more dearly prized
Because for us he lays his beauty down—
Last toll paid by Perfection for our loss!
Trace on these fields his everlasting Cross,
And o’er the stricken sheaves the Immortal Victim’s crown.

From far horizons came a Voice that said,
‘Lo! from the hand of Death take thou thy daily bread.’
Then I, awakening, saw
A splendour burning in the heart of things:
The flame of living love which lights the law
Of mystic death that works the mystic birth.
I knew the patient passion of the earth,
Maternal, everlasting, whence there springs
The Bread of Angels and the life of man.

Now in each blade
I, blind no longer, see
The glory of God’s growth: know it to be
An earnest of the Immemorial Plan.
Yea, I have understood
How all things are one great oblation made:
He on our altars, we on the world’s rood.
Even as this corn,
We are snatched from the sod;
Reaped, ground to grist,
Crushed and tormented in the Mills of God,
And offered at Life’s hands, a living Eucharist.


Evelyn Underhill (6 december 1875  – 15 juni 1941)
St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton, de geboorteplaats van Evelyn Underhill


De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: The Confessions of Nat Turner

“And that is that you not only had a fantastic amount of niggers who did not join up with you but there was a whole countless number of other niggers who was your active enemies. What I mean in simple terms, Reverend, is that once the alarm went out, there was niggers everywhere—who were as determined to protect and save their masters as you were to murder them. They was simply livin’ too well! All the time that you were carryin’ around in that fanatical head of your’n the notion that the niggers were going to latch on to your great mission, as you put it, an’ go off to some stinkin’ swamp, the actual reality was that nine out of ten of your fellow burrheads just wasn’t buyin’ any such durn fool ideas. Reverend, I have no doubt that it was your own race that contributed more to your fiasco than anything else. It just ain’t a race made for revolution, that’s all. That’s another reason that nigger slavery’s goin’ to last for a thousand years.” He rose from his seat across from me. “Well, I got to go, Reverend. I’ll see you tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ll put down in my deposition to the court which precedes your confession that the defendant shows no remorse for his acts, and since he feels no guilt his plea will be that of ‘not guilty.’ Now, one last time, are you sure you feel no remorse at all? I mean, would you do it again if you had the chance? There’s still time to change your mind. It ain’t goin’ to save your neck but it’ll surer’n hell look better for you in court. Speak up, Reverend.” When I made no reply to him he left without further word. I heard the cell door slam shut and the bolt thud home in the slot with its slippery chunking sound. It was almost night again. I listened to the scrape and rustle of fallen leaves as the cold air swept them across the ground. I reached down to rub my numb and swollen ankles and I shivered in the wind, thinking: Remorse? Is it true that I really have no remorse or contrition or guilt for anything I’ve done? Is it maybe because I have no remorse that I can’t pray and that I know myself to be so removed from the sight of God? As I sat there, recollecting August, I felt remorse impossible to know or touch or find. All I could feel was an entombed, frustrate rage—rage at the white people we had killed and those we had failed to kill, rage at the quick and the dead, rage above all at those Negroes who refused us or fled us or who had become the enemy—those spiritless and spineless wretches who had turned against us. Rage even at our own minuscule force, which was so much smaller than the expected multitude! For although it ravaged my heart to accept it, I knew that Gray was not wrong: the black men had caused my defeat just as surely as the white. And so it had been on that last day, that Wednesday afternoon, when after having finally laid waste to twoscore dwellings and our force of fifty had rallied in the woods to storm Major Ridley’s place, I had caught sight for the first time of Negroes in great numbers with rifles and muskets at the barricaded veranda, firing back at us with as much passion and fury and even skill as their white owners and overseers who had gathered there to block our passage into Jerusalem.”


William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006) Cover


De Duitse dichter, schrijver en graficus Christoph Meckel werd geboren op 12 juni 1935 in Berlijn. Zie ook alle tags voor Christopher Meckel op dit blog.

Houten sleutel

Het was het gewicht van de sleutel in haar zak
maar ze had hem nooit uit haar zak gehaald,
hij was daar onzichtbaar in gebleven.
Alleen het sleutelgat ontbrak,
ergens in de wereld was er een sleutelgat,
oud, van hout, dat er alleen was voor de sleutel.
Voor het eerst haalde ze de sleutel uit haar zak,
hij was oud, van hout, met een bekraste baard,
en ze zei tegen de sleutel in haar hand:

Het huis is van ons, we kennen het niet,
we kennen het huis niet, het is alleen maar van ons.
We hebben het niet gebouwd, gekocht, gestolen,
we hebben het niet nodig, het is alleen maar van ons.
We weten niet of de deur een grendel heeft
een gordijn of een sleutelgat.
Het huis is van ons, maar we kennen het niet.
Het huis is van ons, maar we kennen het niet.


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Christoph Meckel (Berlijn, 12 juni 1935)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 11e juni ook mijn blog van 11 juni 2019 en ook mijn blog van 11 juni 2017 deel 2.

Evelyn Underhill

De Engelse dichteres Anglo-katholieke mystica en theologe  Evelyn Underhill werd geboren op 6 december 1875 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. De Anglicaanse Kerk van Engeland en de Episcopaalse Kerk van de Verenigde Staten vereren haar in hun heiligenkalenders op 15 juni. Underhill behield haar eigen naam, ook nadat ze in 1907 met Hubert Stuart-Moore trouwde.
Niet in de laatste plaats onder de druk van haar radicaal antikatholieke echtgenoot, bleef Evelyn Underhill haar Anglicaanse denominatie en kerklidmaatschap (Hoge Kerk) voor het leven trouw, ondanks haar groeiende neiging tot het katholicisme. In haar onderzoek naar mystiek betrok zij echter met hetzelfde interesse ook oosters-orthodoxe, protestantse en niet-kerkelijke vormen van mystiek. Daarin behandelde zij – goed gedifferentieerd – de geschiedenis, systematiek en praktijk van mystiek en werkt ze aan een zeer vergelijkbaar corpus van bronnen. Van 1929 tot 1932 was ze theologische redacteur van The Spectator.

The Light Of The World

Now burn, new born to the world,
Doubled-naturéd name,
The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled
Mid -numbered He in three of the thunder-throne!
Not a dooms-day dazzle in his coming nor dark
as he came;
Kind, but royally reclaiming his own;
A released shower, let flash to the shire, not
a lightning of fire hard-hurled.


The Lady Poverty

I met her on the Umbrian hills,
Her hair unbound, her feet unshod:
As one whom secret glory fills
She walked, alone with God.

I met her in the city street:
Oh, changed was all her aspect then!
With heavy eyes and weary feet
She walked alone, with men.


Evelyn Underhill (6 december 1875 – 15 juni 1941)