Feb. 22, 1998

Our God, Our Help

by Isaac Watts


Today's Reading: "Our God, Our Help" by Isaac Watts (1674-1748).

It's the birthday in York, Pennsylvania, 1936, of J. MICHAEL BISHOP, winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Medicine. He found that healthy body cells contain a dormant gene that, when triggered, causes cancer a major step in the discovery of the disease's origins.

It's the birthday of Irish short-story writer SEAN O'FAOLAIN, born in County Cork in 1900. He came to the U.S., studied at Harvard and Boston College and began writing dozens of short stories about the lives of Irish men and women caught up in "the Troubles."

It's the birthday in Rockland, Maine, 1892, of poet EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY. After college she moved to Greenwich Village and lived the Bohemian life: writing short stories, acting in plays, and demonstrating against the First World War. When she was 30 years old she won the 1922 Pulitzer - one of the youngest ever to win - with her collection A Few Figs from Thistles, which contain her best-known four lines: My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light.

GEORGE WASHINGTON was born on this date in Westmoreland County, Virginia, 1732. Washington's early life was quiet; the estate he farmed and managed at Mt. Vernon took all his time. He said farming was "the most delectable of pursuits - honorable, amusing, and, with superior judgment, profitable."

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
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  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
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  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
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