Mar. 5, 2001

Sonnet 71: No longer mourn for me when I am dead

by William Shakespeare

Poem: Sonnet LXXI ("No Longer Mourn For Me When I Am Dead"), by William Shakespeare.

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From his vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay;
    Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
    And mock you with me after I am gone.

It's the birthday of novelist Leslie Marmon Silko, born in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1948) — a Laguna Pueblo Indian best known for her novel Ceremony (1977), which retells, in a contemporary setting, stories she learned as a child.  She was raised in Old Laguna, on the Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico.

It's the birthday of biologist Lynn Margulis, born in Chicago (1938).  A rebel since graduate school, she proposed a theory claiming that cells with nuclei — including all the cells in the human body — are derived from bacteria that formed symbiotic affiliations in the seas and microbial mats that covered the earth more than two billion years ago.  Her view was derided by the academic community in the 1960s and '70s, but is taken seriously today.

In 1933 on this day, German election returns gave the Nazis and their Nationalist allies 52 percent of the seats in the Reichstag.  It was the last free election in Germany until after the war.

It's the birthday of novelist Frank Norris, born in Chicago (1870).  As a young man he went to Paris to study art, but after reading the work of Zola, he decided to become a naturalist novelist.  He wrote a novel of lower-class life in San Francisco, which later became McTeague (1899).  He planned a trilogy called the Epic of Wheat, which would include:  The Octopus, The Pit, and finally The Wolf.  But he died at 32, following an appendix operation, without writing the trilogy's final novel.

It's the birthday of illustrator Howard Pyle, born in Wilmington, Delaware (1853).  He illustrated such children's classics as The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, and, in 4 volumes, the saga of King Arthur and the Round Table.

The Boston Massacre took place on this day in 1770, on King Street.  A skirmish broke out between British troops and a crowd of colonists who were taunting them: five colonists were killed, including a runaway slave named Crispus Attucks.  John Adams wrote:  "Not the battle of Lexington, nor the surrender of Burgoyne or Cornwallis, were more important events in American history than the Battle of King Street."

It's the birthday of Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator, born in  Flanders (1512).  He produced the first modern maps of Europe and Britain, and in 1569 published a world map on a new projection that still bears his name — the Mercator Projection.

It's the birthday of the first Plantagenet king of England, Henry II, born in France (1133). His wife was Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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




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