Bulat Okudzhava, Mona Van Duyn, Gamal al-Ghitani, Richard Adams, James Barrie, Pitigrilli

De Russische schrijver, dichter en zanger Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava werd geboren in Moskou op 9 mei 1924. Zie ook alle tags voor Bulat Okudzhava op dit blog.


The Song Of The Trampling Jackboots

Now do hear the sound of trampling boots?
And do you see the birds fly off like mad
and women stare scrutinising routes?
I think you know what they are staring at.

Now do hear the sound of drum-beat bass?
The soldiers have to say their good-byes…
The squadron leaves to vanish in the haze…
The past appears clearly in the eyes.

What happens to your soldier’s fortitude
when you return to your old neighbourhood?
It’s women’s trick who steal it from your chest
and keep it like a birdie in the nest.

What happens to your women, man of war,
when you come home and open the front door?
They welcome you and kindly let you in
but in the house there’s a smell of sin.

The past is gone — who cares about that!
We look into the future, for the light!
And in the fields the carrion-crows are fat,
the roaring war pursues us like a plight.

Again you hear the sound of trampling boots
and see the frenzied birds fly off like mad,
and women stare scrutinising routes…
It’s our napes that they are staring at.


Bulat Okudzhava (9 mei 1924 – 12 juni 1997)
Monument in Moskou

Lees verder “Bulat Okudzhava, Mona Van Duyn, Gamal al-Ghitani, Richard Adams, James Barrie, Pitigrilli”

Alan Bennett, Lucian Blaga, Mona Van Duyn, Gamal al-Ghitani, Richard Adams, James Barrie, Pitigrilli

De Britse schrijver en acteur Alan Bennett werd geboren op 9 mei 1934 in Armley in Leeds, Yorkshire. Zie ook alle tags voor Alan Benett op dit blog.

Uit: The Clothes They Stood Up In

“I mean,” said Mrs. Ransome, “it’s getting like a hotel.”
“I wish you wouldn’t keep saying ‘I mean,'” said Mr. Ransome. “It adds nothing to the sense.”
He got enough of what he called “this sloppy way of talking” at work; the least he could ask for at home, he felt, was correct English. So Mrs. Ransome, who normally had very little to say, now tended to say even less.
When the Ransomes had moved into Naseby Mansions the flats boasted a commissionaire in a plum-colored uniform that matched the color of the building. He had died one afternoon in 1982 as he was hailing a taxi for Mrs. Brabourne on the second floor, who had forgone it in order to let it take him to hospital. None of his successors had shown the same zeal in office or pride in the uniform and eventually the function of commissionaire had merged with that of the caretaker, who was never to be found on the door and seldom to be found anywhere, his lair a hot scullery behind the boiler room where he slept much of the day in an armchair that had been thrown out by one of the tenants.
On the night in question the caretaker was asleep, though unusually for him not in the armchair but at the theater. On the lookout for a classier type of girl he had decided to attend an adult education course where he had opted to study English; given the opportunity, he had told the lecturer, he would like to become a voracious reader. The lecturer had some exciting though not very well formulated ideas about art and the workplace, and learning he was a caretaker had got him tickets for the play of the same name, thinking the resultant insights would be a stimulant to group interaction. It was an evening the caretaker found no more satisfying than the Ransomes did Così and the insights he gleaned limited: “So far as your actual caretaking was concerned,” he reported to the class, “it was bollocks.” The lecturer consoled himself with the hope that, unknown to the caretaker, the evening might have opened doors. In this he was right: the doors in question belonged to the Ransomes’ flat“.


Alan Bennett (Armley, 9 mei 1934)
In 1973
Lees verder “Alan Bennett, Lucian Blaga, Mona Van Duyn, Gamal al-Ghitani, Richard Adams, James Barrie, Pitigrilli”

Richard Adams, Leopold Andrian, Alan Bennett, Bulat Okudzhava, James Barrie, Lucian Blaga, Jan Drees, Pitigrilli, Mona Van Duyn


De Engelse schrijver Richard Adams werd geboren in Newbury op 9 mei 1920. Hij studeerde geschiedenis in Oxford. Vervolgens was hij voor lange tijd ambtenaar. Op latere leeftijd besloot hij een verhaal, dat hij zijn kinderen tijdens een lange autorit naar een Shakespeare-voorstelling was begonnen te vertellen, op schrift te zetten. Het boek, Waterschapsheuvel, werd een succes en luidde daarmee het einde van zijn overheidsbaan en het begin van een succesvolle schrijverscarrière in.

Uit  Watership Down

“The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog’s mercury and the oak-tree roots. On the other side of the fence, the upper part of the field was full of rabbit holes. In places the grass was gone altogether and everywhere there were clusters of dry droppings, through which nothing but the ragwort would grow. A hundred yards away, at the bottom of the slope, ran the brook, no more than three feet wide, half choked with kingcups, watercress and blue brooklime. The cart track crossed by a brick culvert and climbed the opposite slope to a five-barred gate in the thorn hedge. The gate led into the lane.

The May sunset was red in clouds, and there was still half an hour to twilight. The dry slope was dotted with rabbits — some nibbling at the thin grass near their holes, others pushing further down to look for dandelions or perhaps a cowslip that the rest had missed. Here and there one sat upright on an ant heap and looked about, with ears erect and nose in the wind. But a blackbird, singing undisturbed on the outskirts of the wood, showed that there was nothing alarming there, and in theother direction, along the brook, all was plain to be seen, empty and quiet. The warren was at peace.”

Richard Adams (Newbury, 9 mei 1920)


De Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en diplomaat Leopold Andrian (eig. Leopold Freiherr Ferdinand von Andrian zu Werburg) werd op 9 mei 1875 in Berlijn geboren. Hij was een kleinzoon van de componist Giacomo Meyerbeer. Andrian studeerde rechten, geschiedenis, filosofie en germanistiek. Zijn werk werd door bemiddeling van Hugo von Hofmannsthal sinds 1893 in Stefan Georges Blättern für die Kunst gepubliceerd. In 1895 verscheen de lyrische sprookjesvertelling “Der Garten der Erkenntnis”, die in 1919 onder de oorspronkelijke titel Das Fest der Jugend  een derde oplage haalde. Tussen 1899 en 1918 was Andrian in diplomatieke dienst in Rio de Janeiro, Sint Petersburg, Athene en Warschau. Daarna had hij nog aanstellingen aan het Weense Hoftheater en het Burgtheater. Na de ondergang van de dubbelmonarchie Oostenrijk-Hongarije trok hij zich steeds meer terug uit het openbare leven. In 1938 emigreerde hij naar Brazilië.

Ich lieb Dich nicht, wie ich Dich einst geliebt (Fragment)

Ich lieb Dich nicht, wie ich Dich einst geliebt
Zu jener Zeit, die nah und fern
Ich liebe Dich gleich der gnadenreichen Blume
Gleich einem leuchtend süssen Meeresstern

Ich liebe deinen körperlosen Leib
Aus Rosenduft und Mondenglanz verwoben
Den Du mit deines Geisters Zauberkraft
Von Venus zur Madonna hast erhoben

Ich lieb in Dir das Bild der eignen Seele
Die ich so seltsam einst Dir eingehaucht
Und die Du frei von jeder Fehle
Ins tiefste Meer der Schönheit eingetaucht

Ich liebe Dich weil Du die Ruhe bist
Zu der die Nerven schmerzlich süss vibriren
Und die heissen, blauumringten Augen jener Fraun
Auf immerdar für mich den Reiz verlieren

Den wenn Dein lichtdurchzognes Schattenbild
Das sich im Traum mir oftmals zeigte,
Sich wie zu einem mystischen Kuss
Zu meiner bleichen Stirn neigte,

Dann ist der Schrei nach Lust in mir verstummt
Es flohen Unruh Hast und Nervenqualen
Wenn voll magnetischer Gewallt
Die dunkelblauen Anemonen strahlen.

Leopold Andrian (9 mei 1875 – 19 november 1951)


De Britse schrijver en acteur Alan Bennett werd geboren op 9 mei 1934 in Armley in Leeds, Yorkshire. Zijn eerste stuk, Forty Years On, werd geproduceerd in 1968. Veel televisiespelen, hoorspelen en toneelstukken volgden,. Hij schreef eveneens korte verhalen, filmscripts, novellen en nonfictie. Bovendien trad hij vaak op als acteur.

Uit: Kafka’s Dick

Max Brod and Franz Kafka somehow turn up at the Leeds, UK home of Sydney, an insurance agent and Kafka scholar, and his wife Linda.  Brod and Sydney try to hide the fact that Kafka is now world famous and not reduced to ashes as he wished by hiding his books.  When they leave the room for a moment, Kafka finds out the truth.

        (KAFKA is alone on the stage.  He picks up the Penguin and looks at it idly.  Then less idly.  He reads aloud the first sentence:)
KAFKA:  “Somebody must have been telling lies about Joseph K because one fine morning he was arrested…”  (Turns the book over to look at the title.  There is a moment of shocked silence, then he shouts:) MAX!
        (Nobody comes.  KAFKA rushes off the stage and comes back with some of the books taken out of the bookshelf, looking at them and throwing them down as he comes.)  Kafka!  Kafka!  Novels, stories, letters.  Everything.  MAX!
        (BROD creeps on to the stage.)
BROD:  (Faintly)  Sorry.
KAFKA:  Sorry?  SORRY?  Max.  You publish everything I ever wrote and you’re sorry!  I trusted you.
BROD:  You exaggerated.  You always did.
KAFKA:  So, I say burn them, what do you think I mean, warm them?
BROD:  I thought it was just false modesty.
KAFKA:  All modesty is false, otherwise it’s not modesty.  There must be every word here that I’ve ever written.
LINDA:  (Coming in)  What did he do?
KAFKA:  It’s not what he did.  (Indicating the books)  It’s what he didn’t do.  This is what he did.
        (SYDNEY comes in with a further pile of books.)
        Did I write these too?  Oh my God!
SYDNEY:  No.  These are some of the books about you.  Only a few.  I believe the Library of Congress catalogue lists some fifteen thousand.
KAFKA:  Max.  What have you done to me?
BROD:  Ask not what I’ve done to you, but what you’ve done for humanity.  You, who never knew you were a great man, now rank with Flaubert, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, called fellow by the greatest names in literature.  As Shakespeare spoke for mankind on the threshold of the modern world you speak mankind’s farewell in the authentic voice of the twentieth century.
KAFKA:  (In a small, awe-stricken voice)  Shit.

Alan Bennett (Armley, 9 mei 1934)


De Russische schrijver, dichter en zanger Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava werd geboren in Moskou op 9 mei 1924. Hij was de schrijver van rond de 200 liederen, gedichten, die hij zelf op muziek zette. Zijn songs zijn een mengeling van Russische, dichterlijke en volkslied tradities en de Franse traditie van het chanson.

To M. Kvilividze

I shall bury a grape stone in the warm fertile soil by my house,
and I’ll kiss the vine twig and ga
ther sweet grapes, my reward,
and I’ll call all my friends to the feast, and love in my heart I will rouse…
Otherwise, what’s the purpose of living in this lasting world?

Dear guests, come to table, I extend you my kind invitation,
tell me straight in my face the opinion of me that you hold,
God almighty will send me forgiveness for my transgression.
Otherwise, what’s the purpose of living in this lasting world?

Dressed in purple, my charming Dali for me will be singing,
dressed in black, I’ll sit bending my head without saying a word,
I’ll be listening enchanted and I’ll die from deep love and sad feeling…
Otherwise, what’s the purpose of living in this lasting world?

When the sunset starts swirling and searching the corners around,
May the images float, as if real, again, may them swirl
right in front of my eyes: a blue ox, a white eagle, a trout…
Otherwise, what’s the purpose of living at all in this world?



While the world is still turning, and while the daylight is broad,
Oh Lord, pray, please give everyone what he or she hasn’t got.
Give the timid a horse to ride, give the wise a bright head,
Give the fortunate money and about me don’t forget.

While the world is still turning,Lord, You are omnipotent,
Let those striving for power wield it to their heart’s content.
Give a break to the generous, at least for a day or two,
Pray, give Cain repentance, and remember me, too.

I know You are almighty, and I believe You are wise
Like a soldier killed in a battle believes he’s in paradise.
Like every eared creature believes, oh, my Lord, in You,
Like we believe, doing something, not knowing what we do.

Oh Lord, oh my sweet Lord, my blue eyed Lord, You’re good!
While the world is still turning,wondering, why it should,
While it has got sufficient fire and time, as You see,
Give each a little of something and remember about me!


Vertaald door Alec Vagapov

Bulat Okudzhava (9 mei 1924 – 12 juni 1997)


De Schotse schrijver James Barrie werd op 9 mei 1860 in Kirriemuir nabij Dundee als negende kind in een gezin van tien geboren. Toen zijn oudere broer David aan hersenvliesontsteking overleed, zocht Barrie troost in de wereld van de verbeelding en ontwikkelde hij op jeugdige leeftijd zijn voorliefde voor het toneel. Al kenden veel van zijn toneelstukken succes, toch zal men hem vooral herinneren omwille van Peter Pan. Hij schreef de toneelstukken: Quality Street, What every woman knows en The Admirable Creighton. Hij kreeg de titel Sir James Barrie.

Uit: The Adventures of Peter Pan

“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, “Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!” This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.

Of course they lived at 14 [their house number on their street], and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there is was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner.”

James Barrie (9 mei 1860 – 19 juni 1937)


De Roemeense dichter, schrijver en filosoof Lucian Blaga werd geboren op 9 mei 1895 in Lancrăm, bij Alba Iulia. Blaga studeerde theologie in Sibiu (Hermannstad) en filosofie in Wenen. Hij was een vooraanstaande en leidende figuur in de Roemeense cultuur van het interbellum.


Shrouded in withered leaves, Pan lies on a crag,
blind and ancient.
His eyelids are granite,
in vain, he tries to blink,
but his eyes have closed like snails for the winter.
Warm dew drops trickle over his lips:
Nature is watering her god.

Oh, Pan!
I watch him stretch his hand, catch a twig
and, with soft strokes,
feel its buds.

A lamb slips closer through the bush.
The blind man hears it and smiles,
for Pan has no greater joy
than gently catching the little heads of lambs between his palms
and seeking their young horns under woolly buttons.
Around him, the dozing caverns yawn
and the yawn steals into him.
He stretches and tells himself:
“The dew drops are big and warm
little horns are sprouting
and the buds are full.
Could it be spring?”

Lucian Blaga (9 mei 1895 – 6 mei 1961)


De Duitse schrijver Jan Drees werd geboren op 9 mei 1979 in Haan. Hij behoort tot de jongere generatie Duitse schrijvers en vertellers. In 2000 verscheen zijn debuutroman Staring at the Sun. Drees schrijft coumnist voor de Westdeutschen Zeitung en schrijft ook voor Blond, Zeit-Online en Bücher (Magazin). Zijn verhalen werden opgenomen in diverse bloemlezingen. Sinds 2004 studeert hij media- en communicatiewetenschappen in Düsseldorf.

Uit: Letzte Tage, jetzt (2006)

„Unspektakuläre Viertelstunden im folgenden.Wie abgeschaltete Leuchtreklamen, diffus. Zwischen uns existierte jetzt, neben einem Telefonat, auch die Umarmung, als Bestätigung, doch gingen wir neben- noch nicht ineinander verschlungen durch die Innenstadt. Promotermädchen am Video-Shop-Stand sprachen uns, sprachen Nebil an, bemerkten nicht, daß wir nur mit einem durchsichtigen Blick antworten konnten. Es war ein Blick, der sich eigentlich zum anderen wendete, und Nebil dachte bloß: »Das kann doch nicht so einfach sein, also in den Zug steigen und dann so ein Mädchen treffen.« Und ich ahnte auch: »Das kann niemals so einfach sein.«
Wir kauften Gemüse, Tomaten, Lauchzwiebeln, Hühnerbrust am Marktstand. »Ich koche«, sagte Nebil, Geldscheine über Salatauslagen reichend. »Es gefällt mir nicht,wenn du immer zahlst«, sagte ich, später. Gehetzt wirkende Mütter zogen quengelnde Kinder hinter sich her, mit »Nein, du nimmst das jetzt nicht«- Ermahnungen. Alt
e, suchende Damen langten mit braunen Handschuhen und Greifengriff in Bauernwaren aus der umliegenden Provinz. Eigentlich nahm ich das alles nicht wirklich wahr, eigentlich spürte ich nur die Müdigkeit vergangener Nacht. Dennoch, obwohl mein Gefühl diffus erschien, dennoch bleiben diese ersten,warmen Bilder, niemals auszulöschen.“

Jan Drees (Haan, 9 mei 1979)


De Italiaanse schrijver Pitigrilli (pseudoniem voor Dino Serge) werd geboren te Turijn op 9 mei 1893, gestorven in 1975 was een Italiaans schrijver. Een enkele keer gebruikte hij ook het pseudoniem Mathesis. Cocaïne (1920) is zijn bekendste boek.Pitigrillis moeder kwam uit een apothekersfamilie. Zijn vader was ambtenaar in het leger. Na een rechtenstudie werd Pitigrilli in eerste instantie zelf journalist en redacteur. Zijn bekendste boeken schreef hij in de jaren dat hij in Parijs werkte. Hij richtte het tijdschrift Le Grandi Firme op in 1924. Wegens de voor die tijd erg expliciete scènes over drugs en seks werden zijn boeken nogal spraakmakend gevonden.

Uit: Ein Mensch jagt nach Liebe  (I vegetariani dell’amore)

„Es ist kein Wahnsinn ein Monatsgehalt für eine Frau auszugeben und ihr noch nicht einmal dabei einen Kuß zu geben. Denke doch daran, was sie alles für uns tun. Denk an die Grazie, die sie verbreiten, an das Parfum, das sie umgibt, an ihre unaufhörliche Suche nach neuen Reizen, an die Stimme, die sie ausbilden, an ihre Elektrizität, die sie ausstrahlen. Das, was sie sich ausdenken, um zu gefallen, geschieht nicht dir und mir zu Ehren, sondern für die Männer im allgemeinen. Ich finde es nur gerecht, dass jeder von uns ja nach seinen Mitteln zu den Spesen beiträgt“.

Pitigrilli (9 mei 1893 – 8 mei 1975)


De Amerikaanse dichteres Mona Van Duyn werd geboren op 9 mei 1921 in Waterloo, Iowa. Zij kreeg zowat elke belangrijke literaire prijs in de VS, waaronder de National Book Award for Poetry voor To See, To Take (1971), the Bollingen Prize (1971), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1989), and the Pulitzer Prize voor Poetry for Near Changes (1991). Zij was de U.S. poet laureate tussen 1992 and 1993.

Letters from a Father

Ulcerated tooth keeps me awake, there is
such pain, would have to go to the hospital to have
it pulled or would bleed to death from the blood thinners,
but can’t leave Mother, she falls and forgets her salve
and her tranquilizers, her ankles swell so and her bowels
are so bad, she almost had a stoppage and sometimes
what she passes is green as grass.There are big holes
in my thigh where my leg brace buckles the size of dimes.
My head pounds from the high pressure.It is awful
not to be able to get out, and I fell in the bathroom
and the girl could hardly get me up at all.
Sure thought my back was broken, it will be next time.
Prostate is bad and heart has given out,
feel bloated after supper. Have made my peace
because am just plain done for and have no doubt
that the Lord will come any day with my release.
You say you enjoy your feeder, I don’t see why
you want to spend good money on grain for birds
and you say you have a hundred sparrows, I’d buy
poison and get rid of their diseases and turds.


Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri

The quake last night was nothing personal,
you told me this morning. I think one always wonders,
unless, of course, something is visible: tremors
that take us, private and willy-nilly, are usual.

But the earth said last night that what I feel,
you feel; what secretly moves you, moves
One small, sensuous catastrophe
makes inklings letters, spelled in a worldly tremble.

The earth, with others on it, turns in its course
as we turn toward each other, less than ourselves, gross,
mindless, more than we were. Pebbles, we swell
to planets, nearing the universal roll,
in our conceit even comprehending the sun,
whose bright ordeal leaves cool men woebegone.

Mona Van Duyn (Waterloo, 9 mei 1921)