Jul. 20, 1999

A Nursery Rhyme As It Might Have Been Written By William Wordsworth

by Wendy Cope

Broadcast Date: TUESDAY: July 20, 1999

Poem: "A Nursery Rhyme As It Might Have Been Written By William Wordsworth," by Wendy Cope from Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amis (Faber and Faber).

Thirty years ago today, 1969, THE EAGLE LANDED ON THE MOON at 4:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. were inside. Seven hours later, Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon.

It's the birthday of poet WILLIAM CLIPMAN, born in Philadelphia, 1954.

It's the birthday in Sweet Home, Arkansas, 1934 of writer HENRY DUMAS who after he got out of the Air Force in the mid-1950s moved to New York and began writing novels, short stories, and poetry — none of which he ever saw in print. In a case that's still unresolved, he was shot and killed by a police officer in 1968 on the Harlem Station platform of New York's Central Railroad. His short-story collection Ark of Bones, came out two years later, and another story collection, Rope of Wind, came out in 1979.

It's the birthday in Providence, Rhode Island, 1933, of novelist CORMAC McCARTHY. McCarthy grew up outside of Knoxville, Tennessee and started writing novels in the 1960s, such as The Orchard Keeper, Outer Dark, and Blood Meridian. Later, he wrote All the Pretty Horses, which won the 1992 National Book Award, followed by The Crossing two years later, and Cities of the Plain that came out last year — a trilogy about young cowboys in west Texas and their adventures across the border in Mexico.

Mark Twain's book INNOCENTS ABROAD was published on this day in 1869. It was his second book and within a year sold over 70,000 copies, and it remained his best-selling book during his life. It's a travel book that began as a series of letters written for a San Francisco paper which Twain had convinced to send him to Europe and the Holy Land in 1867. The boat was stuck in the New York harbor its first day while a storm blew over, and Twain wrote: One could not promenade without risking his neck; at one moment the bowsprit was taking a deadly aim at the sun in midheaven, and at the next it was trying to harpoon a shark in the bottom of the ocean. By some happy fortune I was not seasick. If there is one thing in the world that will make a man peculiarly and insufferably self-conceited, it is to have his stomach behave itself, the first day at sea, when nearly all his comrades are seasick.

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




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