Oct. 28, 1996

O Taste and See

by Denise Levertov

MONDAY 10/28

Today's Reading:"O Taste and See" by Denise Levertov from POEMS 1960-1967, published by New Directions.

It's the birthday in Seattle, Washington of Bill (William Henry) Gates, 1955, who dropped out of Harvard at the age of 19 to cofound the Microsoft Corporation.

It was on this day in 1919 that the Senate passed the Volstead Prohibition Act, outlawing alcoholic beverages.

Jonas Salk, who created the first safe and effective polio vaccine, was born on this day in New York City, 1914.

Artist Francis Bacon was born in Dublin, Ireland, on this day in 1909.

It's the birthday of novelist Evelyn Waugh (BRIDESHEAD REVISITED), born in London in 1903.

Composer and music educator Howard Hanson was born on this day in Wahoo, Nebraska, 1896.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on this day in 1886 on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor.

Gilbert Grosvenor, early editor of the National Geographic, was born on this day in Constantinople, Turkey, 1875.

It's the birthday of French chef Auguste Escoffier (A GUIDE TO MODERN COOKERY), born in 1846.

Portrait painter Henry Inman was born on this day in Utica, New York, 1801.

Harvard University was founded on this day in 1636 when the Massachusetts General Court voted to spend 400 pounds to establish a college.

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