Jan. 6, 2000

The Visionary

by Emily Bronte

Broadcast Date: THURSDAY: January 6, 2000

Poem: "The Visionary" by Emily Bronte.

It's the birthday of American novelist E(dgar) L(aurence) Doctorow, born in New York City (1931), whose fiction takes readers back to relive important events and remarkable eras in American history. His books include The Book of Daniel (1971), Ragtime (1975), Loon Lake (1980), and Billy Bathgate (1989).

It's the birthday of American author and photographer, Wright Morris, born in Central City, Nebraska (1910). His best known works include Field of Vision (1956), Love Among Cannibals (1957) and Plains Song: For Female Voices (1980).

It's the birthday of Icelandic poet Tomas Gudmundsson, born in Reykjavik, Iceland (1901).

It's the birthday of American poet and biographer Carl Sandburg, born in Galesburg, Illinois (1878), the son of Swedish immigrants. He first gained notoriety with his poem, "Chicago," in 1914. His poetry collections include Chicago Poems (1915), Cornhuskers (1918) and Smoke and Steel (1920). Sandburg also collected and published folk songs, wrote children's stories and published a six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln.

It's the birthday of French military leader, Roman Catholic saint and national heroine Joan of Arc, known as "The Maid of Orleans," [OR lay ahn] born in Domrémy [doh RAY mee], France (1412) to peasant stock parents. At the age of thirteen she began to hear voices and see visions she believed came from saints who urged her to embark on a divine mission to help Charles Dauphin [doh FEHN] (later King Charles IV of France) and save France, which was embroiled at that time in the Hundred Years War with the English. Charles provided her with troops to lead into battle and she guided her troops to a decisive victory for France dressed as a male soldier, her hair shorn, carrying a white banner symbolic of God's blessing on the French campaign. Charles was later crowned King with Joan at his side. At age 18, Joan was divinely led to embark on another campaign against the English at Compiégne [koam PYEN] near Paris, this time without the support of Charles. She was captured by the Burgundian allies of the English, and was tried for heresy and sorcery at the ecclesiastical court in Rouen [roo AHN] and was given life imprisonment. A secular court then tried Joan for the same crimes and sentenced her to burn at the stake for heresy. She was burned in the Old Market Square in Rouen in 1431 at the age of 19.

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