Tuesday

Apr. 29, 1997

A Night in Odessa

by Louis Simpson

TUESDAY 4/29

Today's Reading:"A Night in Odessa" by Louis Simpson from COLLECTED POEMS, published by Paragon House (1988).

Today is the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of Italy, born in 1347, the youngest of 20 children.

The Tin Hau Festival takes place today in Hong Kong, a festival of the heavenly Queen, the Goddess of fishers, who will decorate their boats and gather at temples to pray for a good season.

It was on this day in 1945 that Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp, was liberated by the Charlie Battery of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, freeing about 32,000 survivors. An estimated 60,000 people died there.

It's the anniversary of the film premier in 1930 of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, based on Erich Maria Remarque's novel IM WESTEN NICHTS NEUSES, the story about the young boys who were led to slaughter on the Western front during World War I.

It's the birthday of composer, bandleader and pianist Duke Ellington ("Take the A Train," "Sophisticated Lady," "Creole Love"), born in Washington, D.C., in 1899.

Cartoonist and columnist Tad Dorgan, who coined such phrases as "drug-store cowboy," and "Yes, we have no bananas," was born on this day in San Francisco in 1877.

It's the birthday of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who built his newspapers on a combination of sensationalism and muckraking investigations. He was born in San Francisco in 1863.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









«

»

  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
The Writer's Almanac on Facebook


The Writer's Almanac on Twitter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for poems, prose and literary history every morning
An interview with Sharon Olds at The Writer's Almanac Bookshelf
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show
O, What a Luxury

Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound forges a new path for Garrison Keillor, as a poet of light verse. Purchase O, What a Luxury »