Apr. 28, 1998

Route Six

by Stanley Kunitz


Today's Reading: "Route Six" by Stanley Kunitz from PASSING THROUGH, published by W.W. Norton.

It's JEAN REDPATH's birthday, the Scottish folksinger born in Edinburgh, 1937. She came to the States in 1961 with $11 in her pocket and began performing in Greenwich Village with Bob Dylan, Jack Elliot, and the Greenbriar Boys. Most of the time she sang with no accompaniment - just solo voice; Scottish ballads, songs by Robert Burns and Haydn and others.

It's the birthday in Monroeville, Alabama, 1926, of HARPER LEE, author of only one book, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960). She came from an old Southern family related to the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee, and studied law to become an attorney like her father, but left that before she got the degree and moved to New York to write.

It's the birthday in Perth, Scotland, 1898 of poet WILLIAM SOUTAR, who was only 18 years old when he started to show the symptoms of a degenerative spinal disease that would soon paralyze him and put him in bed for the last 13 years of his life. His father was a carpenter, and he made a huge window in his son's bedroom so he could look out into the back yard garden. There, in bed, Soutar wrote poems, essays, letters - sometimes in English, but most of the time in Scots.

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




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