Oct. 14, 2002
she being brand new
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Poem: "she being Brand," by e.e. cummings from 100 Selected Poems (Grove Weidenfield).
she being Brand
she being Brand
know consequently a
little stiff I was
careful of her and (having
thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.
K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her
clutch (and then somehow got into reverse she
the hell) next
minute i was back in neutral tried and
again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
greasedlightning) just as we turned the corner of Divinity
avenue i touched the accelerator and give
her the juice,good
was the first ride and believe I we was
happy to see how nice and acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens I slammed on
breaks Bothatonce and
brought allofher tremB
It's the birthday of Hannah Arendt, born in Hannover, Germany (1906). She wrote The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). When the war criminal Adolf Eichmann was brought to Jersusalem in 1961, Arendt covered the trial for The New Yorker. She expected to find Eichmann the embodiment of pure evil; she discovered, to her surprise, that he was a rather stupid, ordinary man who had done his duty as he saw it. "Evil was not deep, and could not be rooted out," she said, "It was more like a fungus that spread over things." She wrote, "It is far easier to act under conditions of tyranny than to think."
It's the birthday of E(dward) E(stlin) Cummings, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1894). The Enormous Room (1922), an account of three months he spent in military detention in France during World War One where he was an ambulance driver. He wrote poetry for years, subsidized by his parents. It wasn't until the fifties that he won any real popularity; he had been writing for thirty years. He once said, "I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart," and "If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little-somebody who is obsessed by Making." Once, on his way home from a party with his wife, he discovered that he didn't have enough money for the subway. The party had been in a fancy apartment building, and they were riding in an elevator with a well-dressed gentleman of generous proportions. Cummings held his hat out in front of the man and said in a winning voice, "Sir, would you be interested in stepping on my hat?" The man looked confused, and Cummings added, "It will cost you five dollars." The man, as in a dream, stepped obediently on the hat and paid the fee, and Cummings and his wife went home in a taxi.
It's the birthday of Katherine
Mansfield (Beauchamp), born in Wellington, New Zealand (1888). She turned
her back on her stodgy middle-class New Zealand upbringing and moved to London,
where she published short stories, the most famous of which was The Garden
Party, edited a literary journal, and got to know D.H. Lawrence and Virginia
Woolf, who said Mansfield's stories contained "the only writing I have
ever been jealous of."
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