Thursday

May 21, 1998

Magnolia

by Lisel Mueller

THURSDAY 5/21

Today's Reading: "Magnolia" by Lisel Mueller from WAVING FROM SHORE, published by Louisiana State University Press (1989).

The first woman president of Ireland, Mary Bourke Robinson, was born on this day in Ballina, County Mayo, in 1944.

It's the birthday of poet Robert Creeley, of the Black Mountain School of poets, born in Arlington, Massachusetts, 1926.

Nuclear physicist and Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was born in Moscow on this day in 1921. He won the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize for his activism.

It's the birthday of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, whose drawings became the basis of Hummel figurines. She was born in Massing, Bavaria, in 1909.

Architect Marcel Breuer was born in Pecs, Hungary, on this day in 1902. He designed St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

It's the birthday of the physiologist and inventor of the electrocardiogram, Willem Einthoven, born in the Dutch East Indies in 1860.

Ethnomusicologist Frances Densmore, who devoted her life to study Native American music, was born on this day in Red Wing, Minnesota, in 1867.

It's the birthday of the philanthropist, GRACE HOADLEY DODGE, born in New York this day in 1856, who fought for the welfare of working women in the U.S. She came from the Dodge family of metal manufacturers, and gave away about $1.5 million dollars all in all. In the 1880s she organized an association to foster the industrial arts in public schools; she funded the New York College for the Training of Teachers, that eventually became a part of Columbia University. And in 1905 she mediated the merger of two rival groups into the Young Women's Christian Association, the YWCA of the United States, and served as its president until she died in 1914.

It's the birthday of the French painter Henri Rousseau, born in Laval, France, on this day in 1844.

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 »