Thursday

Jan. 20, 2000

Down on My Knees

by Ginger Andrews

Broadcast Date: THURSDAY: January 20, 2000

Poem: "Down On My Knees" by Ginger Andrews from An Honest Answer published by Story Line Press.

On this day in 1961 poet Robert Frost stood up to recite a poem for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, as the younger New Englander had requested. Frost had planned to recite a new poem, called "Dedication," written especially for the occasion, but there were difficulties. He had typed the final version of the new work on a typewriter that had a dim ribbon; his 86-year-old eyes were weak; and, the night before the festivities, Washington was blanketed by a snowstorm—Inauguration Day was unusually bright with glare from all the snow. On the outdoor platform, the old poet couldn't make out his own dimly typed lines. So Robert Frost, 86 years old, gave up on his longer introductory poem and recited his well-known "The Gift Outright" by heart.

It's the birthday of filmmaker Federico Fellini, born Rimini, Italy (1920). His films include La Strada (1956), Nights of Cabiria [kah-BEER-ee-ah] (1957), 8 1/2 (1963), and Amarcord (1974).

It's the birthday of cartoonist Harold Lincoln Gray, born in Kankakee, Illinois (1894)—who drew 'Little Orphan Annie,' a 12-year-old girl with frizzy hair, saucer eyes, a dog named Sandy and as a friend the bald billionaire Daddy Warbucks. The strip first appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1924.

It's the birthday of novelist and essayist Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, born in Farso, Denmark (1873). He wrote a cycle of 7 novels called Den lange rejse (The Long Journey, 1908-22), tracing the rise of man from a half-animal in the forests of Jutland to the discovery of America by Columbus.

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
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “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
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
The Writer's Almanac on Facebook


The Writer's Almanac on Twitter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for poems, prose and literary history every morning
An interview with Jeffrey Harrison at The Writer's Almanac Bookshelf
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show
O, What a Luxury

Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound forges a new path for Garrison Keillor, as a poet of light verse. Purchase O, What a Luxury »