Oct. 25, 1998

Choose Something Like a Star

by Robert Frost

SUNDAY 10/25

Today's Reading: "Choose Something Like a Star" by Robert Frost from THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

It's ST. CRISPIN's DAY, named for a pair of 3rd-century Italian brothers, Crispin and Crispinian, who left their home in Rome to become missionaries in France. The legend goes that they preached during the day and at night made shoes, which they sold for a small fee to the poor. They were martyred in 287 and are the patron saints of shoemakers.

It's novelist and short-story writer ANNE TYLER's birthday, 1941, Minneapolis, author of The Accidental Tourist (1985), Breathing Lessons, which won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize, and A Patchwork Planet, that came out in May this year. She grew up in North Carolina and got her first job after school in the library of Duke University. She settled in Baltimore in the late 1960s and began writing full time.

It's poet JOHN BERRYMAN's birthday, born John Smith in 1914, McAlester, Oklahoma, winner of the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for his collection 77 Dream Songs, and the 1969 National Book Award for another collection called His Toy, His Dream, His Rest. After getting his degree, he taught at Harvard, Princeton, then the University of Minnesota from 1955 until his death in 1972.

It's historian and writer HENRY STEEL COMMAGER's birthday, born in Pittsburgh, 1902, author of a standard American history textbook The Growth of the American Republic, which came out in 1930 and has been revised several times.

It was on this day in 1400 that poet GEOFFREY CHAUCER died in London. He was the first poet and one of the first commoners to be buried in Westminster Abbey. At his death he left unfinished the work we know him best by: The Canterbury Tales, the story of about 30 pilgrims gathering at the Tabard Inn across the Thames from London, who agree to a storytelling contest as they travel on horseback to and from the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury.

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




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  • “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
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