May 3, 1999

Sonnet 8: I ponder it again and know for sure

by May Sarton

Broadcast Date: MONDAY: May 3, 1999

Poem: Sonnet 8, "I ponder it again and know for sure," by May Sarton, from Collected Poems (W.W. Norton).

It's singer PETE SEEGER's birthday, born on this day in 1919 in New York, who made over 50 records, as a solo artist and with his quartet The Weavers, including songs like "Good Night, Irene," "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," "If I Had a Hammer," and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine."

It's the birthday of BETTY COMDEN, Brooklyn, 1919, who with Adolf Green wrote the lyrics for shows like On the Town (1944, with music by Leonard Bernstein) and the script for the film, Singin' in the Rain.

It's the birthday in 1913 of writer WILLIAM INGE in Independence, Kansas, who wrote the early-1950s plays about life in small Midwestern towns like Come Back, Little Sheba; Bus Stop; and Picnic, for which he won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize. His Splendor in the Grass won the 1961 Academy Award for best screenplay.

It's the birthday in Belgium, 1912, of the American writer MAY SARTON, who went to New York to become an actor in 1929, then turned to writing and teaching during the depression—for $25 and a few days room and board she'd give a poetry reading and a lecture on campus.

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS landed on the island of Jamaica on this day in 1494, on his second trip looking for a quick route to China.

It's the birthday of NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, born in 1469, Florence, Italy, author of the 1513 political treatise, The Prince, what he called "a meditation on what a principality is, what kinds there are, how they can be acquired, how they can be kept, why they are lost."

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