Oct. 28, 2000

Masterworks of Ming

by Kay Ryan

Broadcast date: SATURDAY, 28 October 2000

Poem: "Masterworks of Ming," by Kay Ryan, from Flamingo Watching (Copper Beech Press).

Masterworks of Ming

Ming, Ming
such a lovely
thing blue
and white

bowls and
basins glow
in museum

they would
be lovely
filled with
rice or

so nice
to dinner

or washing
a daughter

a small
of course
since it's
a small basin

first you
would put
one then

the other
end in

On this date in 1954, Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize, recognizing his entire body of work, and, in particular, The Old Man and the Sea (1952). In his acceptance speech, Hemingway said: "For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed".

It's the birthday of British mystery novelist Anne Perry, born in London (1938), best known for her Victorian murder mysteries. Her first, The Cater Street Hangman (1979), was the first of ten mysteries featuring the refined Mrs. Charlotte Pitt and her husband, London police inspector Thomas Pitt. Ten years ago, Perry created a new detective, William Monk, in her novel The Face of a Stranger (1990), also set in Victorian England. A dark episode in Perry's past resurfaced in 1994, with the release of the film Heavenly Creatures, which tells the story of two New Zealand teenagers, Pauline and Juliet, who carry out the murder of Pauline's mother. Soon after the release of the film, Perry revealed that she was the young Juliet of that film, and that she had served five years in prison for the murder in the late 1950's.

It's the birthday of American physician Jonas Edward Salk, born in New York City (1914). After receiving his M.D. from New York University in 1939, Salk began a study of immunology which led to his appointment in 1947 as head of the Virus Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. It was here that Salk took the lead in developing a successful polio vaccine, which used a killed polio virus to increase the body's resistance to the disease. After three years of extensive testing, the Salk vaccine was released for use in the United States on April 12, 1955.

It's the birthday of British novelist Evelyn (Arthur St. John) Waugh, born in London (1903), who earned a reputation as the most brilliant satirical novelist of his day. Waugh skewered upperclass British society with novels like Decline and Fall (1928), Vile Bodies (1930) and A Handful of Dust (1934). After the war, he retired to the west of England and his work became more serious and ambitious. It was in this period that he published Brideshead Revisited (1945), and The Loved One (1948).

It's the birthday of French chef (Georges-) Auguste Escoffier, born in Villeneuve-Loubet, France (1847). He became the chef at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1890, and was later the chef at the Carlton Hotel.

On this date in 1636, the General Court of Massachusetts set aside 400 pounds, approximately $740, to found a college in the colony. Their ambitious goal was to rival Oxford and Cambridge in England. Two years later, in 1638, the new college received a bequest of 779 pounds, or about $1,440, and four hundred books from the estate of John Harvard, the assistant pastor of the First Church of Charleston. In gratitude for the large donation, the college was renamed Harvard College.

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




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