donderdag 25 maart 2010

Jeremiah J Callahan, Ierland (1795 - 1829)

1795 Ballinhassig Cork
1829 Lissabon

Callahan werd geboren in een familie te Cork dat bolstond van de medici. Studeerde zelf aanvankelijk voor het priesterschap maar liet deze roeping uiteindelijk varen. Ging studeren aan Trinity college te Dublin & keerde terug naar Cork om aldaar als onderwijzer aan de slag te kunnen. Ondertussen begon hij enige naam te maken als dichter. Te Cork sloot hij zich bij de aldaar praktiserende literaire cirkel met onder andere Thomas Crofton & John Windele. Publiceerde verschillende vertalingen in Blackwoods magazine.

Reisde in het zuidwesten van Ierland op zoek naar folklore en de grondbeginselen van de Ierse Cultuur.

Op een gegeven moment raakte hij verliefde op Alicia Fisher, een methodist, maar keerde haar later de rug toe, aangezien ze zich niet wilde bekeren tot het katholieke geloof. Zijn gezondheid aangetast door TBC vertrok hij vervolgens naar Portugal om te Lissabon als privé leraar aan het werk te gaan voor een Ierse familie. Hij stierf aldaar aan een keelontsteking.

1830 - The recluse of Inchydoney
1830 - Collected poems
1847 - The Poems of JJ Callahan

Joseph Cahn, Frankrijk (1887 - 1917)


stierf aan de verwondingen die hij op 29.12.1916 te Biaches had opgelopen.

1912 - Au souffle de mois
1916 - Vers de tere - de France
1921 - Et puis voice des vers

Rene Guy Cadou, Frankrijk (1920 - 1951)

In de voetsporen tredend van zijn ouders & grootouders, werd Cadou onderwijzer in Bretagne (zijn geboortegrond). Tegen de tijd van zijn dood had hij al een behoorlijk poetisch oeuvre bij elkaar geschreven, dat overigens grotendeels pas in 1977 verzameld werd uitgegeven. Gedurende zijn leven verscheen onder andere :

1947 - Helene ou le monde vegetal
1950 - poemes choises



I did not write this book. It was dictated to me month after month by a sovereign voice, and I only recorded, like one dumb, the durable echo that banged so hard on the obscure eardrum of the world. Speech was granted to me in addition, so that I might relay a few of those amazing vibrations, a few of those mysterious exchanges we sometimes intercept in the halls of distress.

The poet lives inside a prison made of streets, people, buildings, car horns, breaking dishes, open bellies, tears, rains, laughs, drunken trains. He delivers us.

I deliver you a license on the dangerous network of beauty. I only have the rights of the weakest man. I have cut in line before you at the cashier’s window.

Departing trains take us through ferocious illusions toward a stellar mountain range that weighs little in eternity’s scale.

But what good is venturing into those pathetic wings, onto that bohemian stage whose every drama we have known for a long time?

I do not conceal that these poems are coming to me from much farther away than myself and that I speak to all of you about a fleeting world, as inaccessible as a grass fire and all surrounded with evil spells.

I show you a country without possible horizon, but time and again recognizable thanks to its chief adorned with scarlet and crimson.

I impart news that concerns you directly—great news. O poetry, step away from your mirror! I speak for youths and men of all ages. I speak of what’s happening to me. I speak of a world absolved by its anger. And perhaps will you hear this voice: monochord by choice, unseated, thrown off the horse in the lane, behind this thrice-locked gate, behind this gate, behind this soul, this voice, O youths and you men of all ages, perhaps will you hear this voice knocking, wanting in, knocking, O youths, knocking just like you at the door of its destiny and singing through the crossfire.


Want as I might I could not
Get used to horses and lilac flowers

The train that passes on the horizon is very old
Despite its very modern machinery

It is oiled and flawless like a poem
But I prefer Gaelic songs

Want as I might I could not
Leave horses and lilac flowers

The airplane is old the automobile is old
Only the melodious buzzing of a bee

Is young and equally young that old man
Whose walk is slowed by the walk of a beetle

Want as I might I could not
Get used to horses and lilac flowers

Because I am afraid that I will no longer know how to die the way men line up
Side by side for a fishing contest

I am afraid of not keeping up with my neighbors
Who drive automobiles and take trains

And die in their beds without worrying about the countryside
Where love kills like the bursting of a chestnut

Die as I might I will not be able
To leave horses and lilac flowers.

© Cadou

dinsdag 23 maart 2010

Andrzei Bursa, Polen (1932 - 1957)

Andrzei Bursa werd geboren op 21 maart 1932 te Krakau. Hij studeerde Journalistiek en Bulgaars aan de Jagellon universiteit in zijn geboortestad. Na zijn studies was hij werkzaam als journalist voor de Krakause krant Dziennik Polski.

Hij publiceerde zijn eerste gedicht in 1954. Gedurende zijn leven publiceerde hij 37 gedichten en een enkel kort verhaal in verschillende tijdschriften.

Hij overleed op 15 november 1957 aan een hartaanval. Hoewel er altijd verhalen zijn geweest, die dit in twijfel trekken en het op zelfmoord houden. Ten eerste omdat men kijkende naar het werk Bursa bijna vanzelfsprekend tot die conclusie zou komen, en ten tweede aangezien zelfmoord in het zeer katholieke Polen van de jaren vijftig een meer dan groot taboe was en door vele families doodgezwegen werd.

Kort na zijn overlijden verscheen zijn eerste poezie bundel. Tevens werd er een belangrijke poolse poezie prijs naar hem vernoemd.

Enkele vertalingen :

Quite A Primitive Syllogism
Free, you ain’t get anything pretty
sunset is free
therefore it is not beautiful
but if one wants to vomit in a posh nightclub
one must pay for one’s vodka

water closet in a discotheque is beautiful
but a sunset is not

well I must tell you that it’s all phony

I have seen a sunset
and a loo in a nightclub

I don’t find any relevant difference



In a sober frame of mind he came to have some business taken care of
but at the first door he got kicked
he smiled
getting kicked to him seemed quite witty
he tried again
got kicked
he decided to go up to the next floor
again he was knocked down the stairs by a kick
like a well-behaved dog he waited politely in the hallway
got kicked
got kicked at the main gate
in the street got kicked again
so at any rate he desired a more poetical death
he flung himself under an automobile
and caught a solid kick from the chauffeur.


“A poet suffers for the millions
From 10 to 1.30
At 11 his bladder is full
He goes out
Unzips his flies
Zips up his flies
Returns to his desk
Clears his throat
And again
Suffers for the millions”


My buddy, slow-witted and malicious like a hundred mules, brings in his steel chessboard and asks: Wanna play? 
Ha, ha—I'm familiar with this trick. I know that as we play, my chess-pieces will become white-hot. With the third move they already sizzle on contact and char the epidermis. But I play—of course I do. 
Check, en garde, check. I lose two knights and a rook, and my fingers smoke like a factory. I try to shift a pawn with my fingernail, but having encountered my partner's ironic glance I desist. After all, my partner is magnanimous.—You'll lose your queen, he warns. Take back that move. 
In this way my torture is intensified. 
When he takes a second rook, I feel like giving up and putting an end to this idiotic ordeal. But he showed up, didn't he. And so grimacing with pain once again I make some fatal move.—Hee hee, cackles my slow-witted pal.—Just as in life. He can't come up with a better joke. This is the end now. With one last burn I move the king to a place of irrevocable checkmate. 
My pal cackles and rakes in his chess set. 
At that point I cry:—Now for a re-match.

A Fairy Tale
Once upon a time when the Emperor wasn't in a good mood a man rubbed him the wrong way. The Emperor ordered him to be beheaded. But the Emperor didn't have time. He only said:

—Report every hour to my chambers and remind me that in the very near future I have to chop off your head.

And so the man presented himself. At first he took it hard. He pondered the insignificance of existence and the constraints imposed upon the individual, and the dependence on the temperamental whims of a dull-witted bigwig. But then he got used to it. He became a cross for the officials to bear. Tons of work to be done, petitioners faint in line, and yet this man keeps showing up.

—Good day. The Emperor ordered me to remind you that in the near future he has to chop off my head. Goodbye.

And so it went every hour.

Promptly at two minutes to twelve this man burst out of the café called "The Ministerial" (he didn't frequent any others) in order to hastily deliver the little formula. Each Saturday night at eleven o'clock, slightly tottering on his legs after quickly downing a bottle in a bar called "Ambassador's Paradise" (he didn't frequent any other), the man showed up in chambers and announced incoherently:

—The Emperor ordered me to that…about it...that in the near future he has to chop off my head.

At four in the morning the man hopped off his cot which had been set up in the hallway of the royal chambers (he didn't sleep anywhere else), and in a sleepy voice he awakened the dozing secretary who was on duty:

—The Emperor ordered me... etc.

One day, after twenty years went by, this man happened to encounter the now-elderly Emperor in his chambers.

—And what does this man want? asked the Emperor.

—He reports that Your Excellency has ordered his head to be chopped off, said the secretary.

—Well then chop it off, the Emperor angrily snorted.

And so they chopped it off.

(vertalingen door : Kevin Christianson & Halina Ablamowicz)

Lettie Lavilla Burlingame, USA (1859 - 1890)

Lettie Lavilla Burlingame was een succesvol advocate die in 1886 op de universiteit van Michigan The Equity club oprichtte, deze zou uitgroeien tot de eerste professionele vereniging voor vrouwelijke advocaten.

In de korte periode dat ze als advocaat werkzaam was wist ze elke zaak die haar werd toevertrouwd winnend af te sluiten. In 1890 bezweek ze aan een griepvirus.

Het Boek Lettie Lavilla Burlingame - Her life pages, stories, poems and essays, including a glimpse of her succes as the first lady lawyer of Will county, Illinois dat in 1895 van de persen rolde is hier in zijn geheel na te lezen

maandag 8 maart 2010

Alan Burke, Engeland (1979 - 1999)

Alan Burke werd op 11 januari 1979 geboren te Newcastle Upon Tyne in de wijk Elswick, die te Newcastle synoniem staat voor armoede, misdaad en teloorgang. Na de middelbare school volgde hij aan de universiteit van Durham een studie theologie.

Na publicaties in The Sunday Times & The Sun, stuurde hij zijn gedichten op aandringen van Gilbert & George (groot liefhebbers van zijn werk) naar de uitgeverij Bad Press. Enkele dagen nadat hij bericht had gekregen dat het tot een publicatie zou komen, overleed hij tengevolge van een hersentumor. (op 17 augustus 1999)

Zijn bundel Hooligan Trees werd dus posthuum gepubliceerd en voorzien van een omslag en voorwoord door de eerder genoemde Gilbert & George.


My head -
My gravestone
An ignited piece of
Puffing and smoking

Trailing about with
A portable gravestone
Hung from neck,
Everywhere I move
This remonstrance
At my life
'Die! Die!'

O! It's like
I'm one leg
Over life's fence,
And one leg
Over death.


voor meer informatie over Burke's leven en werk verwijs ik u naar de volgende site te hier