Nov. 25, 1999


by D. H. Lawrence

Broadcast Date: THURSDAY: November 25, 1999

Poem: "Piano" by D. H. Lawrence from his Poems published by Viking Press.

Today is Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November, proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, a day we associate with various autumnal harvest festivals. The familiar song ("A Boy's Thanksgiving Day"):

Over the river and through the wood
To Grandfather s house we go—
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
To Grandfather s house, away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
For tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, Oh Dear, the children are here,
Bring a pie for every one.

Over the river and through the wood
Now Grandmother s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Today, November 25, is also Saint Catherine s Day—the patron saint of maidens, mechanics, philosophers, and anyone who works with wheels.

It s the birthday of playwright Shelagh [SHEE-lah] Delaney, born in Lancashire, England (1939). Her best-known play, written when she was 18, is A Taste of Honey (1958).

It s the birthday of composer Virgil Thomson, born in Kansas City (1896)—known for his homespun, seemingly simple music and his decades of witty newspaper reviews, especially in the New York Herald Tribune (1940-54). At 5 he started learning piano from a cousin, and by 12 was the substitute organist for several Kansas City churches. From 1925 until 1940 he lived in Paris; from 1940 until his death at 92 he lived in the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan. His best-known works are two operas to texts by Gertrude Stein: Four Saints in Three Acts (1934) and The Mother of Us All (1947).

It s the birthday of novelist Helen Hooven Santmyer, born in Cincinnati, Ohio (1895), the oldest child of a drug salesman. Growing up in Xenia [ZEEN-yuh], Ohio, she admired the ladies in the Women s Club of Xenia, who met every month to discuss intellectual culture. Eventually she, too, became a member. When she was 86 her novel ...And Ladies of the Club topped the bestseller list. It celebrates the delights of life in a white, Republican, Midwestern town, and ends, after 1,300-pages, with the election of Franklin Roosevelt as President because, as she told an interviewer, "What I thought of the New Deal wasn't fit to print." Two of her other novels, reissued after her great splash as an octogenarian, were Herbs and Apples (1925) and The Fierce Dispute (1929).

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




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