Jul. 12, 2000

1718 Drowning is not so pitiful

by Emily Dickinson

They say that 'Time assuages' ...

by Emily Dickinson

Broadcast date: WEDNESDAY, 12 July 2000

"Drowning is not so pitiful," and "They say that 'Time assauges'--," by Emily Dickinson.

It's the birthday of novelist and biographer Doris Grumbach, born in Manhattan (1918). She's the author of a number of novels based on the lives of actual people, including: Chamber Music (1979), based on the life of composer Edward McDowell; and, The Missing Person (1981), patterned on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

It's the birthday of painter Andrew Wyeth, born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania (1917)

It's the birthday of poet Pablo Neruda, one of the most widely translated poets in history, born in Parral, Chile (1904). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

It's the birthday of inventor and philosopher R(ichard) Buckminster Fuller, born in Milton, Massachusetts (1895), the inventor of the geodesic dome.

It's the birthday of inventor George Eastman, born in Waterville, New York (1854). While working in a Rochester bank he developed an interest in photography, and in 1880 perfected a process for making 'dry plates.' He left the bank and founded the Eastman Dry Plate Company. Four years later he devised a paper-backed film, which he marketed in roll form. In 1888 he introduced an inexpensive, simple camera he named, for no reason except it was easy to remember, the Kodak. "You push the button," the ads promised. "We do the rest."

It's the birthday of essayist Henry David Thoreau, born in Concord, Massachusetts (1817). After graduating from Harvard he tried teaching school, but did not care for it; worked in the family business-pencil-making-for 2 years; then became a tutor to Ralph Waldo Emerson's children, and a sort of general handyman around the house. He was 28 when he moved to the shore of Walden Pond, on land provided by Emerson: he built a cabin, planted a garden, and settled down for a 2-year experiment in living a simple life as a self-reliant free spirit. He wrote about it in his book, Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854). At 32 he returned to his family home, where he remained the last 13 years of his life, making pencils and surveying. He died of tuberculosis at 44.

"I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude."

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away."

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