Sunday

Mar. 7, 1999

Why We Are Afraid

by Clemens Starck

SUNDAY 3/7

Poem: "Why We Are Afraid," by Clemens Starck, from Journeyman's Wages (Story Line Press).

It was on this date in 1945 that American troops seized a crucial bridge over the Rhine River at REMAGEN and began pouring into Germany. With the Soviet army closing in on Berlin from the east, the war in Europe would be over in a few months.

MONOPOLY was invented on this day in 1933. It came out at the height of the Great Depression and was a big hit because each player got $1,500 and tried to bankrupt the others by buying, selling, and trading properties and by charging exorbitant rent.

Robert Frost's poem, "STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING," was published in the New Republic magazine on this date in 1923. He was proud of the poem, and said the lines, "Whose woods these are, I think I know, his house is in the village though..." contained everything he ever knew about how to write.

THE FIRST JAZZ RECORD went on sale on this day in 1917. The Victor Company released a tune called "The Dixieland Jazz Band One-Step" recorded by Nick La Rocca and his Original Dixieland Jazz Band who had traveled all the way from New Orleans to New York to make the record.

It's the birthday of the Norwegian poet ROLF JACOBSEN, born in Oslo in 1907.

It's the birthday of HELEN PARKHURST, the founder of the Dalton Plan of Education, born in Durand, Wisconsin in 1887.

It's the birthday in 1872, Holland of PIET MONDRIAN, the abstract painter famous for geometric pictures of black lines and colored rectangles on white backgrounds.

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 Sharon Olds 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 »