Feb. 24, 2002
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Poem: "Spring," by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Nothing is so beautiful as spring -
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. - Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
On this day in 1942, The
Voice of America went on the air for the first time, in response
to the need for reliable news broadcasting in war-torn Europe. On the first
broadcast the announcer proclaimed, "Here speaks a voice from America.
Every day at this time we will bring you news of the war. The news may be good.
The news may be bad. We shall tell you the truth."
It's the birthday of poet and writer August
Derleth, born in Sauk City, Wisconsin (1909). He wrote many books about
his home town, which he called "Sac Prairie" in his fiction.
It's the birthday of educator and writer
Ellen Chase, born in Blue Hill, Maine (1887). Most of her novels deal
with the seafaring life of the inhabitants of rural Maine. Chase taught literature
at Smith College for almost thirty years.
It's the birthday of "The Flying Dutchman,"
baseball great Honus Wagner
(John Peter Wagner), born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania (1874). Wagner was a sensational
hitter, a brilliant base runner, a flawless fielder, and an outstanding shortstop
for the Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting one hundred and one home runs between 1897
and 1917. One of the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall
of Fame (1936), many people still consider him to be baseball's greatest player.
There are only about fifty original prints of his baseball card still in existence.
A mint-condition card recently sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for 1.1
It's the birthday of novelist and critic
George Augustus Moore, born in Ballyglass, Ireland (1852). He studied
painting in Paris, and then turned to writing. His first work of fiction, A
Modern Lover (1883), was banned from libraries. This fueled his lifelong
battle against censorship and prudery. Moore, who said: "A man travels
the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
It's the birthday of educator and entomologist
John Henry Comstock, born in Janesville, Wisconsin (1849). He was a professor
at Cornell University, where he wrote important books about insects.
It's the birthday of Wilhelm Karl Grimm,
born in Hanau, Germany (1786), one of the Grimm brothers who collected German
folk tales, including "Hansel and Gretel," "Cinderella,"
"Rumpelstiltskin," and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
The Grimm brothers bowdlerized them, removing some of the violence, such as
the end of "Snow White" where the wicked queen was originally forced
to don red hot slippers and dance until she dies. They also edited out sexual
activity, such as the premarital activities of Rapunzel and the prince who climbs
up into her tower.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®