Nov. 12, 1998

Moony Art

by Ted Hughes


Today's Reading: "Moony Art," by Ted Hughes, from MOON WHALES, published by Viking Press, 1976.

It's the birthday of writer TRACY KIDDER, born in New York, 1945, and author of non-fiction works like the book about the computer industry, The Soul of a New Machine, which won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize, as well as Among Schoolchildren (1989), and Old Friends (1993).

It's the birthday of jazz trumpeter BUCK CLAYTON, born in 1911, in the town of Parsons, in southeast Kansas. In 1936, when he was 25 years old he joined the Count Basie Orchestra, and stayed with them until 1943 when he went to play for U.S. Army bands for the rest of the war years. After the war he played swing, leading his own groups on tours across America and Europe, and as a sideman with Benny Goodman.

It's the German novelist HANS WERNER RICHTER's birthday, born 1908 in a fishing village on the Baltic Sea named Bansin, in present-day Poland. He formed Group 47, a loose-knit organization of writers and critics that influenced German literature for many years. Two of his novels have been translated into English: Beyond Defeat, and They Fell From God's Hands.

It's the birthday of OLA HANSSON, the Swedish poet born in 1860. In 1887 he published a collection of erotic stories and poems called Sensitiva Amorosa that shocked Sweden. Shortly after that he left and lived for the rest of his life in Germany, Switzerland, and Turkey.

It's the birthday of BAHA ULLAH, the founder of the Baha'i faith, born in Tehran, Iran in 1817. There are currently about six million Baha'i's in the world.

It's the birthday of the women's rights leader ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, born in Johnstown, New York, 1815. In July, 1848, Stanton and several other women called a women's convention in Seneca Falls, New York, and drew up what they called a Declaration of Sentiments, in which they stated that men and women are equal. She ran into legal stumbling blocks all along the way in her career and at one point said of lawyers: "I do believe that half a dozen commonplace attorneys could so mystify and misconstrue the 10 Commandments that Moses would doubt his own identity and commend the very sins he so clearly forbad his people."

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




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