Nov. 17, 2000

When I Was Fair and Young

by Queen Elizabeth I

Broadcast date: FRIDAY, 17 November 2000

Poem: “When I was Fair and Young,” by Queen Elizabeth I.

When I was fair and young, then favor graced me.
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be,
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe,
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show,
But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

Then spake fair Venus'son, that proud, victorious boy,
Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy,
I will pluck your plumes as you shall say no more:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast
That neither night nor day I could take any rest.
Wherefore I did repent that I had said before:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

It's the birthday of  film director Martin Scorsese, born in Flushing, Long Island (1942). As a schoolboy in Little Italy, he suffered from asthma, which allowed him to spend a lot of time at the movies.  He decided early on that he'd enter the Roman Catholic priesthood, but said he "couldn't fit in the institution of the church". He entered NYU film school instead.  His first big success was Mean Streets (1973), which earned him critical attention for its realistic detail and naturalistic, almost improvisational, acting performances. His other films include Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), and The Last Temptation of Christ (1989).

It's the birthday of author and historian Shelby Foote, born in Greenville, Mississippi, (1916). He wrote five novels, one of which, Shiloh, dealt with the Civil War.  When editor Bennet Cerf  asked him to write a short Civil War history, Foote thought it would be a nice change of pace before his next novel, so he agreed.  The project took him 20 years to research and write, was three volumes and nearly 3000 pages long. He wrote it all out by hand: 500 words was a decent day; 1000 words was phenomenal. The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville (1958), Fredericksburg to Meridian (1963), and Red River to Appomattox (1974).

It's the birthday of theater director and acting teacher Lee Strasberg, born in Budzanow, Poland (1901), known as the father of "method acting" in America.  He was the director of The Actors Studio in New York.

On this day in 1889 the Union Pacific Railroad began direct, daily service between Chicago and Portland, Oregon, as well as between Chicago and San Francisco.

On this day in 1558, Queen Elizabeth I ascended the English throne on the death of her half-sister Queen Mary.  England at that time was split over the Reformation: Mary had been a staunch Catholic who burned Protestants at the stake, while Elizabeth was loyal to the reformation. She came to the throne at 25 years old: a smart, strong-willed young woman who would reign for 45 years and come to be affectionately called Good Queen Bess.  She oversaw the Reformation's re-birth, England's arrival as a world naval power, and a flourishing of the arts.  Writers John Donne, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare, and composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd all worked during her reign, which came to be known as The Elizabethan Age.

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




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