Sep. 25, 1996

The Beautiful Changes

by Richard Wilbur


Today's Reading:"The Beautiful Changes" by Richard Wilbur from THE BEAUTIFUL CHANGES, published by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman on the US Supreme Court on this day in 1981.

Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, famous for his interpretations of Bach, Beethoven and Schoenberg, was born on this day in Toronto in 1932.

It's the birthday of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, born in St. Petersburg on this day in 1906.

Sports columnist Red Smith was born on this day in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1905.

Oceanographer Columbus O'Donnell Iselin, longtime director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was born on this day in New Rochelle, New York, in 1904.

It's the birthday of Abstract Expressionist painter, Mark Rothko, born in Dvinsk, Russia, in 1903.

Novelist and short story writer William Faulkner (THE SOUND AND THE FURY; AS I LAY DYING; THE LIGHT IN AUGUST) was born on this day in New Albany, Mississippi, 1897.

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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