Feb. 14, 2003
The Love Cook
Meeting at Night
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Poem: "Meeting at Night," by Robert Browning from The Poems of Robert Browing (Oxford University Press) and "The Love Cook," by Ron Padgett from You Never Know (Coffee House Press).
Meeting at Night
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i'the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
The Love Cook
Let me cook you some dinner.
Sit down and take off your shoes
and socks and in fact the rest
of your clothes, have a daiquiri,
turn on some music and dance
around the house, inside and out,
it's night and the neighbors
are sleeping, those dolts, and
the stars are shining bright,
and I've got the burners lit
for you, you hungry thing.
Today is Valentine's Day, which is derived from the ancient Romans' holiday honoring Juno, the goddess of women and marriage, on the night before the Feast of Lupercalia. On this day, Roman girls would put slips of paper with their names on them into a clay jar, and the boys would choose their partner for the festival by taking a slip from the jar. This was one of the few times girls and boys were allowed to socialize, and the dancing and games often evolved into courtship and marriage.
On this day in 1895, Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest opened in London. He said the moral of the play is "That we should treat all trivial things very seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality."
On this day in 1921, the literary journal The Little Review faced obscenity charges in New York City for publishing parts of James Joyce's Ulysses (1922). Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap edited The Little Review. The poet Ezra Pound sent them the first three chapters of Ulysses for publication. Upon reading the chapters Anderson said, "This is the most beautiful thing we'll ever have. We'll print it if it's the last effort of our lives." They were convicted of publishing obscenity and fined one hundred dollars.
It's the birthday of British writer Frank Harris, born in Galway, Ireland in 1856. He wrote many stories, poems, and essays, but is best known for his huge, five-volume autobiography My Life and Loves (1923-1927), which is full of exaggeration and self-praise.
It's the birthday of Carl Bernstein, the journalist of Woodward and Bernstein, authors of All the President's Men (1974), born in Washington, D.C. in 1944. He said, "The lowest form of popular culture-lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people's lives-has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage."
It's the birthday of the inventor of the typewriter, Christopher
Latham Sholes, born in Mooresburg, Pennsylvania in 1819. He designed
the keyboard so that all of the letters in the word "typewriter" would
be on the top row, thinking that this would impress skeptical customers.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®