May 25, 1999
The Kitty-Cat Bird
Poem: "The Kitty-Cat Bird," by Theodore Roethke, from The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke (Anchor Books, Doubleday).
It's the birthday in Boston, 1803, of the poet and essayist RALPH WALDO EMERSON, who as a Unitarian minister in his mid-20s became famous for preaching sermons based on his own beliefs in self-reliance.
It was on this day in 1805 in Philadelphia that one of America's first LABOR STRIKES was staged. A group of shoemakers struck for higher wages. Their employer appealed to the local judiciary, which in turn charged the strikers with criminal conspiracy and shut the strike down.
It's the birthday in Saginaw, Michigan, 1908, of poet THEODORE ROETHKE, author in 1953 of The Waking which won him the Pulitzer Prize. As a boy, he grew tending the plants and flowers in the greenhouse his father and uncle owned, and many of him poems relate to plants and nature.
It's the birthday in the logging town of Clatskanie, Oregon, 1938, of RAYMOND CARVER, the short-story writer of collections Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1976), What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981), and Cathedral (1984).
It's the birthday in 1949, St. John's, Antigua, in the West Indies, of JAMAICA KINCAID, author of the novels Annie John (1985), Lucy (1990) and The Autobiography of My Mother (1996), and short story collections.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®