Sunday

Jul. 12, 1998

Walden (excerpt)

by Henry David Thoreau

SUNDAY 7/12

Today's Reading: Lines from WALDEN by Henry David Thoreau.

It's the birthday of comedian Milton Berle, born in New York City in 1908. He was just ten years old when he started out in vaudeville. He acted in more than 50 silent films, worked in nightclubs and in radio, but found his greatest success on television beginning in the 1940s (1940-66).

It's the birthday of the Chilean poet and political activist PABLO NERUDA, born in Parral, Chile, in 1904. He started writing poetry when he was ten years old around the time he met the famous Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, who introduced him to the works of Walt Whitman, a poet Neruda said had a profound influence on him. His poetry has been translated into almost every language, and in 1971, two years before his death, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

It's the birthday of the architect, engineer and theoretician R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER, born in Milton, Massachusetts, in 1895, famous for the creation of the geodesic dome, a system of interlocking triangles that enclosed the maximum volume of space with the minimum of materials.

And today is the birthday of essayist, naturalist and poet HENRY DAVID THOREAU, born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1817. A member of the Transcendentalists, a 19th Century literary movement that celebrated the individual over the masses, emotion over reason and nature rather than man, he once spent a night in jail for refusing to pay taxes to a government that endorsed slavery and waged an imperialist war against Mexico. The essay "Civil Disobedience," which he wrote afterwards, argued that individual conscience takes precedence over political expediency. His most famous work, Walden, came out in 1854 but was largely ignored during his lifetime. "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."

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

 









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