May 7, 1998
Today's Reading: "After the Season" by Kate Light from THE LAWS OF FALLING BODIES, published by Storyline Press (1997).
It's the birthday in Birmingham, England, 1932 of the poet JENNY JOSEPH, whose best-known work is a little poem titled "Warning," which says, in part: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. I shall gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my sticks along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth..." She worked in South Africa as a journalist in the late 1950s and was asked to leave for criticizing the government's policy of apartheid.
A German submarine the British ship LUSITANIA on this day in 1915 as it neared the coast of Ireland on its way from New York. Of the 2,000 people onboard, nearly 1,200 lost their lives, including 128 Americans. There was a huge uproar over the fact that the Germans attacked a passenger ship, but it was common knowledge that the U.S. -- which was still neutral in WWI -- was using boats like the Lusitania to send weapons and ammunition to Britain. And it turned out the Lusitania was carrying about 4,000 cases of small arms when she went down.
It's the birthday of two great composers of the 19th-century Romantic era: JOHANNES BRAHMS, born in Hamburg, Germany, 1833; and PETER TCHAIKOVSKY, in Votkinsk, Russia, 1840.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®