Oct. 22, 1996

Martial's Epigrams (excerpt)

by Henry Howard


Today's Reading:An excerpt from "Martial's Epigrams" by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

The Cuban Missile Crisis peaked on this day in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation on television and demanded the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.

It's the birthday of painter Robert Rauschenberg, born in Port Arthur, Texas, 1925.

Canadian poet and novelist Norman Levine was born in Ottawa on this day in 1924.

It's the birthday of novelist Doris Lessing (THE GOOD TERRORIST), born in Kermanshah, Iran, 1919.

A flu epidemic was sweeping the United States on this day in 1918, which eventually killed about 500,00 people.

Photographer Harry Callahan was born on this day in Detroit, 1912.

It's the birthday of geneticist George Beadle, who demonstrated that genes influence heredity by controlling chemical reactions, born on this day in Wahoo, Nebraska, 1903.

Journalist and political activist John Reed, author of TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD on which the film REDS was based, was born on this day near Portland, Oregon, 1887.

Chemist Stephen Moulton Babcock, who in 1890 developed a method for measuring the butterfat content of milk, was born today near Bridgewater, New York, 1843.

In 1784 on this day, in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the six Iroquois nations ceded all territory west of the Niagara River to the United States.

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
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show