Mar. 19, 2000

435 Much Madness is divinest Sense

by Emily Dickinson

441 This is my letter to the World

by Emily Dickinson

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: March 19, 2000

Poems: "Much Madness is divinest Sense," and "This is my letter to the World" by Emily Dickinson.

March 19 is the feast day of SAINT JOSEPH, husband of the Virgin Mary. He's the patron saint of bursars, cabinet-makers, carpenters, and fathers.

Ever since 1776, St. Joseph's Day has also been the day the SWALLOWS RETURN TO THE OLD MISSION OF SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO—halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego.

It was on this date in 1963 that ALFRED HITHCOCK'S MOVIE THE BIRDS OPENED.

It's the birthday of novelist PHILIP (Milton) ROTH, born in Newark, New Jersey (1933). If his first book, Goodbye Columbus (1959), irritated many Jews, his breakthrough novel, Portnoy's Complaint (1969) infuriated many more. Roth claimed not to be upset by this, as he shared the feelings of his hero Portnoy, who tells his analyst, "Doctor, doctor, what do you say, LET'S PUT THE ID BACK IN YID!" The book was Roth's take on how Kafka's work might have turned out if it had been written by the Marx Brothers.

It's the birthday of jazz saxophonist ORNETTE COLEMAN, born in Fort Worth (1930). He bought an alto sax when he was 14, and learned from a book—which led to his unorthodox fingering.

It's the birthday of author IRVING WALLACE, born in Chicago (1916). Author of The Prize (1962), The Man (1964), and The Chapman Report (1960).

It's the birthday of cowboy painter CHARLES M(arion) RUSSELL, born in St. Louis (1864). At 16 he moved to Montana and became a cowboy—then began to paint other cowboys, as well as American Indians and Western landscapes.

It's the birthday of politician WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, born in Salem, Illinois (1860). He moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, entered politics, and was elected to Congress. At the 1896 Democratic national convention, Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech took the delegates by storm and won him the nomination. But he lost the general election, and 4 years later he lost again. In 1908 he was again nominated by the Democrats—and again lost. The next time around, in 1912, he locked up the nomination for Woodrow Wilson, who, once elected, appointed him Secretary of State.

It's the birthday of explorer and scholar SIR RICHARD (Francis) BURTON, born in Torquay, Devonshire, England (1821). He mastered 25 languages, wrote 43 volumes on his travels, and translated 30 volumes, including unexpurgated versions of The Arabian Nights (1888), The Kama Sutra (1883), and The Perfumed Garden (1886).

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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