Sunday

Mar. 12, 2000

A Bestiary (excerpts: "Herring," "Lion," and "Wolf")

by Kenneth Rexroth

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: March 12, 2000

Poems: "Herring," "Lion," and "Wolf," selected verses from "A Bestiary" by Kenneth Rexroth from his Selected Poems (New Directions).

It was on this day in 1994 that the CHURCH OF ENGLAND ORDAINED ITS FIRST WOMEN PRIESTS, 32 of them in a ceremony at Bristol Cathedral, ending a tradition of male priests going back more than 450 years.

It's the birthday today of writer JACK KEROUAC, born 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts, author of a series of autobiographical novels which made him a leading figure in the "Beat Generation" of poets and writers based in New York and San Francisco in the 1950s.

The GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA were founded on this day in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, by Juliette Gordon Low. She organized the first troop with 18 girls and at their first meeting they learned to tie knots, played tennis, and were taught the Girl Scout laws.

It was on this day in 1901 that the steel magnate ANDREW CARNEGIE gave New York City 5.2 million dollars to construct 65 branch libraries. He had just sold his Carnegie steel company for 250 million dollars and decided to retire to devote himself to charity work, and later gave money to create more than 1700 libraries all over the United States and in Britain.

It's the birthday, in 1890, of ballet dancer VASLAV NIJINKSY, born in Kiev. He was the principle dancer in the Ballets Russes, taking Paris by storm with his incredible leaping abilities in his first performance in 1909. He later danced the leading roles in the premiers of Les Sylphides and Scheherazade.

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 »