May 7, 2001
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Poem: "Warning," by Jenny Joseph, from Rose in the Afternoon (Dent)
On this day in 1945, at 2:40 in the morning, Nazi Germany surrendered to the allies. The surrender took place in a little red schoolhouse in Reims, France, the headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
It's the birthday of novelist and short-story writer Peter Carey, born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia (1943). He's the author of Oscar and Lucinda, which won the Booker Prize in 1988.
"In our country, we don't call people losers. We call them battlers. A battler is someone who struggles forever and will never, ever, really get anywhere. And in Australia, that's a really honorable position."
It's the birthday of novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, born in Cologne, Germany (1927), to a Polish-German Jewish family. She married an Indian architect, Cyrus Jhabvala, and they made their home in New Delhi. She wrote novels and stories, and one of them caught the eye of filmmakers Ismail Merchant and James Ivory. She began a collaboration with them, making many movies, including A Room with a View (1986), Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990), Howards End (1992), and The Remains of the Day (1993).
It's the birthday of composer Johannes Brahms, born in Hamburg, Germany (1833). He wrote A German Requiem, and then his four greatest symphonies - numbers one through four - in nine years, from 1876 to 1885.
It's the birthday of poet Robert Browning, born in Camberwell, England (1812). When he was still quite young, he came out with a series of pamphlets called Bells and Pomegranates, which included such popular poems as "My Last Duchess," and "The Pied Piper of Hamelin." One reader of these poems, the poet Elizabeth Barrett, publicly praised Browning's work. Browning wrote to thank Barrett for her kind words. They met in May of 1845, were married in September of 1846, and one week later moved to Florence, Italy.
"A, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"
It's the birthday of poet, novelist, and children's writer Jenny Joseph, born in Birmingham, England (1932). She wrote a very popular poem that came out in 1974, entitled "Warning." The poem was picked up by the greeting card industry, printed on tea towels and calendars, and quoted in self-help books and support groups worldwide.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®