Jul. 21, 1999
Poem: "Rain Travel," by W.S. Merwin from Travels (Alfred A Knopf).
It's the centenary of poet HART CRANE, who was born one hundred years ago today in Garrettsville, Ohio. Hart Crane, the son of a candy manufacturer, began writing poetry as a teenager. Crane left home for New York and his poems began appearing in magazines. His first book came out when he was 27 years old, the collection called White Buildings. It sold well and he began work on "The Bridge," a big, 15-part cycle of poems inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge. Hart Crane he leaped off the fan tail of a ship not long after the poem was printed. Among his papers was this poem called "Chaplinesque." We will make our meek adjustments, Contented with such random consolations As the wind deposits In slithered and too ample pockets. For we can still love the world, who find A famished kitten on the step.
It's also the centenary of ERNEST HEMINGWAY, who was born in 1899 in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. He is the author of A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and other novels and dozens of short stories. He is a winner of the Nobel Prize. The last of his unpublished manuscripts just came out this month, "True at First Light: A Fictional Memoir" a book about a 1953 African safari that he left unfinished, but which his son, Patrick, edited and put together. Hemingway once wrote: "All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer."
It's the birthday in Batvia, New York, 1933 of novelist and teacher JOHN CHAMPLIN GARDNER, author of Grendel (1971). He's also written several instruction books for beginning fiction writers, including, On Becoming a Novelist, and The Art of Fiction.
It was on this day in 1936 that Orson Welles opened his federal production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which he used a racially integrated cast and moved the play's setting from Scotland to the Caribbean.
It's the birthday of poet TESS GALLAGHER in Port Angeles, Washington, 1943.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®