Jul. 11, 2000

To Women, As Far as I'm Concerned

by D. H. Lawrence

Broadcast date: TUESDAY, 11 July 2000

"To Women, As Far As I'm Concerned," by D.H. Lawrence from The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence (Viking Penguin).

On this day in 1937, Dylan Thomas, 22, married his Irish sweetheart Caitlin Macnamara, 23, at the Registry Office in Penzance, Cornwall-in his words, "with no money, no prospect of money, no attendant friends or relatives, and in complete happiness."

It's the birthday of literary critic Harold Bloom, born in New York City (1930). He earned his Ph.D. at Yale, where he began teaching when he was 25. In his first book, The Visionary Company (1961), Bloom championed six major romantic poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats).

It's the birthday of Danish poet and musician Benny Andersen, born in Copenhagen (1929). The English translation of his Selected Poems came out in 1975.

On this day in 1914, Babe Ruth made his first appearance as a major league baseball player, pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He pitched 7 innings against the Cleveland Indians, was relieved for the last 2 innings, but won his first victory. The score was 4 to 3.

It's the birthday of essayist and stylist E(lwyn) B(rooks) White, born in Mount Vernon, New York (1899). At Cornell he edited the campus newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. He joined The New Yorker staff in 1927, and married the fiction editor, Katharine Angell, in 1929. He's the author of many collections of essays, a well as stories for children: Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970).

White wrote that he "was neither deprived nor unloved" in his childhood, but was troubled "about practically everything-the uncertainty of the future, the dark of the attic, the panoply and discipline of school, the transitoriness of life, the mystery of the church and of God, the frailty of the body, the sadness of afternoon, the shadow of sex, the distant challenge of love and marriage, the far-off problem of a livelihood. Being the youngest in a large family, I was usually in a crowd but often felt lonely and removed. I took to writing early, to assuage my uneasiness and collect my thoughts, and I was a busy writer before I went into long pants."

It's the birthday of politician and activist Jeannette Rankin, born near Missoula, Montana (1880)-the first woman elected to Congress (1917). She was also the first and only person to vote against American entry into both world wars. She said, "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."

In 1804 on this day, at dawn, the long-standing bitterness between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton culminated in a duel in Weehawken Heights, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Hamilton, firing first, deliberately missed; Burr aimed with deadly purpose. Hamilton died 10 hours later, leaving his wife and 7 children deep in debt.

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 »