Sunday

Dec. 10, 2000

324 Some keep the Sabbath going to Church

by Emily Dickinson

A Song for Muriel

by Carolyn Kizer

Broadcast date: SUNDAY, 10 December 2000

Poem: “A Song for Muriel,” by Carolyn Kizer, from Cool, Calm & Collected: Poems, 1960-2000 (Copper Canyon Press); and “Some keep the Sabbath going to church,” by Emily Dickinson.

A Song for Muriel by Carolyn Kizer
No one explains me because
There is nothing to explain.
It's all right here
Very clear.
O for my reputation's sake
To be difficult, and opaque!

No one explains me because
Though myopic, I see plain.
I just put down
With a leer and a frown...
Why does it make you sweat?
Is this the thanks I get?

No one explains me because
There are tears in my bawdy song.
Once I am dead
Something will be said.
How nice I won't be here
To see how they get it wrong.

Some keep the Sabbath going to church
by Emily Dickinson

Some keep the Sabbath going to church —
I keep it, staying at Home —
With a Bobolink for a Chorister —
And an Orchard, for a Dome —

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice —
I just wear my Wings —
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton — sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman —
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last —
I'm going, all along.

It's the birthday of mystery writer Philip R. Craig, born in Santa Monica, California (1933). For the last ten years he's come out with a new murder mystery a year, all featuring a retired Boston cop named J.W. Jackson, and all placed on Martha's Vineyard. Jackson works as a tourist guide, and in his free time fishes and cooks his catch. His titles include A Beautiful Place to Die (1989), Cliff Hanger (1993), A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard (1998), and Vineyard Blues (2000). "Most readers of mysteries... are actually more interested in characters and locale than in plot, puzzle solving, or other traditional aspects of crime stories."

It's the birthday of poet Carolyn Kizer, born in Spokane, Washington (1925). Her collection Yin: New Poems (1984) won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Other books include Knock Upon Silence (1965), Mermaids in the Basement: Poems for Women (1984), and Cool, Calm & Collected: Poems, 1960-2000 (2000)

It's the birthday of novelist and children's author Rumer Godden, born in Eastbourne, Sussex (1907). Author of Black Narcissus (1939) The Greengage Summer (1958), China Court (1961), and many other books.

It's the birthday of children's writer Mary Norton, born in London (1903). She turned out the enchanting Borrowers tales, featuring the Clock family: six inches tall, they are non-doctrinaire utopians who own nothing, share everything, and borrow what they need from humans.

It's the birthday of German poet and playwright Nellie Sachs, born in Berlin (1891). A Jew, she fled Germany for Sweden in 1940, at which point her early, romantic style turned to more psalmlike forms. She is best known for her lyrical lament "O the Chimneys," about the death camps. She shared the Nobel Prize for Literature with S.Y. Agnon (1966).

It's the birthday of poet Emily Dickinson, born in Amherst, Massachusetts (1830). She lived most of her 55 years in the house built by her Grandfather in Amherst. During her last 20 years she never strayed beyond the property.

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

 









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