Oct. 24, 1999

The Model

by W. H. Auden

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: October 24, 1999

Poem: "The Model" by W. H. Auden from The Collected Shorter Poems, 1927-1957 published by Random House.

The 40-HOUR WORK WEEK went into effect on this day in 1940, with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The law also established a minimum wage of 25-cents an hour for the first year, to be increased to 40 cents within seven years.

It's poet DENISE LEVERTOV's birthday in Essex, England, 1923. She was educated at home by her mother, who loved to read aloud Willa Cather, Charles Dickens, and Leo Tolstoy to the family. Levertov said she knew she was going to be a writer from the time she was five years old, and when she turned 12 she sent some of her poetry to T. S. Eliot, who responded with a two-page letter of encouragement. She got a nursing degree, served in London during the German V-1 bombings, then settled in the U.S. She published her best-known work, Candles in Babylon, and Breathing the Water.

It's the birthday in 1904, New York City, of playwright MOSS HART. He grew up in the Bronx and got his first job when he was 17 years old as an office boy for a Broadway producer. His first play came out a year later. He directed summer stock, then hit it big with a string of George S. Kaufman collaborations: Once in a Lifetime, Merrily We Roll Along, and You Can't Take It with You, which won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize.

It's the birthday of equal rights advocate, BELVA ANN LOCKWOOD, Royalton, New York in 1850.

It's SARAH JOSEPHA HALE'S BIRTHDAY, Newport, New Hampshire, 1788, author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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
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  • “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
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