Thursday

Dec. 3, 1998

Not Only Marble

by Wendy Cope

THURSDAY 12/3

Poem: "Not Only Marble," by Wendy Cope, from MAKING COCOA FOR KINGSLEY AMIS (Faber & Faber).

It's the birthday of Dutch chemist PAUL CRUTZEN, who in 1970 discovered that chemical compounds of nitrogen oxide erode the stratospheric ozone layer, born in Amsterdam in 1933.

French new wave film director JEAN-LUC GODARD, who established his reputation with the film Breathless, was born in Paris in 1930.

American soprano MARIA CALLAS was born in New York City in 1923.

Swedish cinematographer SVEN NYKVIST, who collaborated with Ingmar Bergman on many films, was born in Moheda, Sweden in 1922.

Novelist JOSEPH CONRAD, author of Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness was born in the Polish Ukraine in 1857.

Cuban epidemiologist CARLOS JUAN FINLAY, the man who discovered that yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, was born in Puerto Principe, Cuba, in 1833.

Portrait painter GILBERT STUART, best known for his portraits of George Washington, was born in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in 1755.

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 »