Sunday

Feb. 6, 2000

Mamie Sharp

by Leonard Nathan

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: February 6, 2000

Poem: "Mamie Sharp" by Leonard Nathan from The Potato Eaters published by Orchises.

It's the birthday of film director FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT, born in Paris (1932). He started directing in 1959 with 400 Blows, which created a style of French movie making called "La Nouvelle Vague," or The New Wave. His Day for Night (1973) won the Best Foreign Film Academy Award.

It's the birthday of archaeologist MARY DOUGLAS LEAKEY, born in London (1913). Her discoveries made it clear that man had developed millions of years earlier than we had previously supposed. In 1947 she found the skull of an ancestor to both apes and humans that lived 25 million years ago. In 1978, Leakey used a small paintbrush and a dental pick to uncover a set of human footprints nearly four million years old. She stood up from her work, lit a cigar and announced, "Now this is something to put on the mantelpiece."

It's the birthday of playwright and poet CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, born in Canterbury, England (1564). A contemporary of Shakespeare’s, he also wrote plays about English history and tragedies for the London stage. These include Tamburlaine the Great (1590) and Dr. Faustus (1604). Marlowe was also one of the Elizabethans' favorite love poets:

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

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 »