Friday

Mar. 22, 2002

Ode: Intimations of Immortality (excerpt)

by William Wordsworth

FRIDAY, 22 MARCH 2002
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Poem: "Ode: Intimations of Immortality," by William Wordsworth.

Ode: Intimations of Immortality

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it has been of yore;-
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more!
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.


It's the birthday of Marcel Marceau, born in Strasburg, France (1923), who managed, almost single-handedly, to revive the ancient art of pantomime in the second half of the 20th century. He was active in the French Resistance during World War Two, and then, after the war, founded his own mime troupe (1948). He became the world's best-known mime, and his most famous character was the clown 'Bip,' in sailor pants and striped jacket. Marceau also devised the mime-drama Don Juan (1964) and the mime-ballet Candide (1971).

It's the birthday of novelist Nicholas Monsarrat, born in Liverpool (1910). He served in the Royal Navy during World War II, working on the Atlantic convoy runs. He wrote a novel about it during the war: H.M. Corvette (1942). But he's best known for another sea saga, The Cruel Sea (1951), about life on board a small ship in wartime.

It's the birthday of western writer Louis L'Amour, born in Jamestown, North Dakota (1908). He left school at 15 to travel the world, exploring much of the American West and working for a while as a miner. He also traveled to East Africa, and worked as an elephant handler, a lumberjack, a boxer, and a migrant farm worker. In his thirties, L'Amour began writing novels about life on the western frontier. His first big success was Hondo (1953-later made into a John Wayne movie). All through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s he wrote several books a year-one hundred of them in all-which sold over 200 million copies worldwide.

It's the birthday of French-Canadian writer Gabrielle Roy, born in St-Boniface, Manitoba (1909). She lived in Montréal and wrote many French-language novels set there, including Bonheur d'occasion (translated as The Tin Flute, 1945).

It's the birthday of illustrator Randolph Caldecott, born in Chester, England (1846). He illustrated books by Washington Irving, and the poem "The House that Jack Built" (1878). The Caldecott Medal, awarded each year to the illustrator of the best American picture book for children, was named for him.

(Instapaper)

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