Jan. 22, 2000
Snow in the Suburbs
Poem: "Snow in the Suburbs" by Thomas Hardy.
Today is the feast day of St. Vincent, patron saint of wine growers. The weather legend has it that if there is bright sun today, you'll get a good wine crop in the coming season.
It's the birthday of poet Howard Moss, born in New York City (1922). His collections include The Wound and the Weather (1946) and Buried City (1975); his Selected Poems (1971) won the National Book Award. He served as poetry editor at The New Yorker for nearly 40 years, showcasing the work of Sylvia Plath, Richard Wilbur, Elizabeth Bishop, and many others.
It's the birthday of choreographer George Balanchine (Georgi Melitonovitch Balanchivadze), born in St. Petersburg, Russia (1904)who said audiences should "see the music and hear the dancing." The 200 ballets he staged for the New York City Ballet include "Serenade," "The Four Temperaments," "Orpheus," and many works to the music of Stravinsky. "Some people think you have to cry to have emotions. Suppose you don'tthen people believe you're cold and have no heart. Some people are hot, some cold. Which is better? I prefer cold. I have never cried at a ballet. I never cry anytime."
It's the birthday of pioneer moviemaker D(avid) W(ark) Griffith, born in Floydsfork, Kentucky (1875). The son of a Confederate colonel, he grew up poor, and dropped out of school to work in a bookstore. There he met actors and was drawn into theater, which led to film work. He made over 400 silent films for the Biograph companyone-reelers, each 12 minutes long. Among his many innovations were the close-up, the scenic long shot, cross-cutting, and fade-outs. His major films were Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), and Broken Blossoms (1919).
It's the birthday of playwright August (Johan) Strindberg, born in Stockholm (1849). His plays include Miss Julie (1888) and The Ghost Sonata (1907).
It's the birthday of romantic poet George Gordon, the 6th Lord Byron of Rochdale, born in London (1788). His poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (1812) made him famous.
It's the birthday of physicist Andre-Marie Ampere, born in Lyon, France (1775)who mastered all the mathematics then known to Western man by the age of 12. He developed the first instrument for measuring electricity; the ampere unit of electrical current was named for him.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®