Aug. 31, 1996

For These

by Edward Thomas


Today's Reading: "For These" by Edward Thomas from COLLECTED POEMS, published by W. W. Norton and Company.

The Steinlager Queen Liliuokalani 24th Annual Long-Distance Canoe Racing Championships begin today off the coast of the main island of Hawaii.

The Polish trade union Solidarity was founded in the shipyards of Gdansk on this day in 1980.

It's the birthday violinist Itzhak Perlman, born in Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), in 1945.

Singer and composer Van Morrison ("Gloria," "Brown Eyed Girl") was born on this day in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1945.

THE THREEPENNY OPERA by Kurt Weill opened at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm on this day in 1928.

Lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (BRIGADOON; PAINT YOUR WAGON; MY FAIR LADY; CAMELOT) was born in New York City on this day in 1918.

Journalist Daniel Schorr celebrates his 80th birthday today. He was born in New York City in 1916.

Writer William Saroyan (THE DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE; MY NAME IS ARAM) was born in Fresno, California, in 1908.

It's the birthday of the longtime (1952-87) editor of THE NEW YORKER, William Shawn, born on this day in Chicago in 1907.

It's the birthday of Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori schools for children, born in Chiaravalle, Italy, in 1870.

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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