Sep. 23, 1996


by Billy Collins


Today's Reading:"Morning" by Billy Collins, published in POETRY, June 1996.

In the Hebrew calendar, today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a time for fasting, repentance and seeking forgiveness.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF was first performed on stage in New York City in 1964.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets' "That'll be the Day" became the number one record in US on this day in 1957.

Sigmund Freud died on this day in 1939.

Singer, pianist Ray Charles (Robinson) was born on this day in Albany, Georgia, in 1930.

It's the birthday today of saxophonist John William Coltrane who was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, 1926.

Physicist Clifford G. Shull, 1994 Nobel Prize winner for physics, was born on this day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1915.

The first of producer Mack Sennet's slapstick Keystone Kops films, COHEN COLLECTS A DEBT, was released on this day in 1912.

Columnist Walter Lippmann ("Today and Tomorrow")was born on this day in 1889 in New York City.

It's the birthday of pioneering nutritionist Sir John Boyd Orr, Kilmaurs, Scotland, 1880, whose studies during the 1930's determined that minimal nutritional requirements were beyond the financial means of half of Britain's population.

It's the birthday of inventor Robert Bosch in Albeck, Germany, 1861. He invented the magneto, which generated current for the first practical automobile ignition system.

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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