Dec. 10, 1999
324 Some keep the Sabbath going to Church
A Song for Muriel
Poems: "A Song for Muriel" by Carolyn Kizer from Harping On: Poems: 1985-1995 published by Copper Canyon Press; and, "Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church" by Emily Dickinson.
It's the birthday of mystery writer Philip R. Craig, born in Santa Monica, California (1933). For the last ten years he's come out with a new murder mystery a year, all featuring a retired Boston cop named J.W. Jackson and all placed on Martha's Vineyard. Jackson works as a tourist guide, and in his free time fishes and cooks his catch, giving the author wide range to describe Martha's Vineyard and to rhapsodize about catching and cooking clams, bluefish, and other delicacies of the sea. His titles include A Beautiful Place to Die (1989), Cliff Hanger (1993), and A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard (1998). "Most readers of mysteries... are actually more interested in characters and locale than in plot, puzzle solving, or other traditional aspects of crime stories."
It's the birthday of poet Carolyn Kizer, born in Spokane, Washington (1925), who served as the first director of literary programs for the National Endowment for the Arts (1966-70), then taught or was poet-in-residence in: Chapel Hill, NC; Athens, Ohio; Iowa City; at Stanford University, Princeton University, Barnard College, Columbia University, and others. Her collection, Yin: New Poems (1984) won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Other books include Knock Upon Silence (1965), Mermaids in the Basement: Poems for Women (1984), and Harping On: Poems 1985-1995 (1996).
It's the birthday of novelist and children's author Rumer Godden, born in Eastbourne, Sussex (1907). Author of Black Narcissus (1939) The Greengage Summer (1958), China Court (1961), and many other books.
It's the birthday of children's writer Mary Norton, born in London (1903). She turned out the enchanting Borrowers tales featuring the Clock family, six inches tall, little non-doctrinaire utopians who own nothing, share everything, and borrow what they need from humans.
It's the birthday of German Jewish poet and playwright Nellie Sachs, born in Berlin (1891). She fled to Sweden in 1940, at which point her early, pretty style of verse deepened, turning to unrhymed, psalmlike forms rich in symbolism and mystical metaphor. She is best known for her lyrical lament "O the Chimneys," about the death camps. She shared the Nobel Prize for Literature with S.Y. Agnon (1966).
It's the birthday of poet Emily (Elizabeth) Dickinson, born in Amherst, Massachusetts (1830). She lived most of her 55 years in the house built by her Grandfather in Amherst; during her last 20 years, she never strayed beyond the house's grounds.b
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®