Jun. 3, 1996

My Sad Self: To Frank O'Hara

by Allen Ginsberg


Today's Reading: "My Sad Self: To Frank O'Hara" by Allen Ginsberg from COLLECTED POEMS, published by Harper & Row.

It's the birthday of automobile manufacturer Ransom Eli Olds in Geneva, Ohio in 1864, who designed the three-horse power, curved-dash Oldsmobile.

Ernest L. Thayer's classic baseball poem "Casey at the Bat" was first printed on this day in 1888 in the SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER.

Dancer, singer Josephine Baker, who became a sensation on the Paris stage in the 1920's, was born in 1906.

It's the birthday of poet Allen Ginsberg, born in Newark, New Jersey in 1926.

The creator of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow, was born in Arad, Romania in 1932.

It was on this day in 1942 that the Battle of Midway began in the Pacific Ocean when U.S. naval forces intercepted a Japanese attack on Midway Island.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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