Monday

Jun. 9, 1997

Cottonwood

by William Stafford

MONDAY 6/9

Today's Reading:"Cottonwood" by William Stafford from EVEN IN QUIET PLACES, published by Confluence Press (1996).

Today is the birthday of electric guitar innovator Les Paul (Lester William Polsfuss), born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 1915.

George Price, longtime cartoonist for THE NEW YORKER beginning back in 1929, was born on this day in Coytesville, New Jersey, 1901.

It's the birthday of songwriter Cole Porter, whose slew of classic songs include "Begin the Beguine," "Night and Day," "Love for Sale," and "I Get a Kick Out of You." He was born in Peru, Indiana, in 1891.

Danish composer and conductor Carl Nielsen (SINFONIA ESPANSIVA; THE INEXTINGUISHABLE) was born on this day in Sortelung, Denmark, in 1865.

It's the birthday of actor and playwright John Howard Payne, remembered best for the lyrics to the song "Home, Sweet Home." He was born in New York City in 1791.

The inventor of the steam locomotive, George Stephenson, was born in Wylam, England, on this day in 1781.

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 Jeffrey Harrison 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 »