Nov. 3, 1996

My Own Heart

by Gerard Manley Hopkins


Today's Reading:"My Own Heart" by Gerard Manley Hopkins, from THE POEMS OF GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, published by Oxford University Press.

The New York City Marathon takes place today with 25,000 runners from all over the world.

It's the birthday of writer Martin Cruz Smith (GORKY PARK), born in Reading, Pennsylvania, 1942.

Michael Stanley Dukakis, the son of Greek immigrants, was born on this day in Brookline, Massachusetts, 1933.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (FATHER SKY AND MOTHER EARTH), the first Aboriginal writer to be published, was born in Stradbroke Island, Australia, 1920.

Photographer Walker Evans was born today in St. Louis, 1903. He started out wanting to be a writer but switched to photography and set out to capture, in his words, "the elevated expression, the literate, authoritative and transcendent statement which a photograph allows."

It's the birthday of novelist and hero of the French Resistance during World War II, Andre Malraux, born in Paris, 1901.

It's the anniversary of the first national automobile show, which opened at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1900.

Writer, politician, and early Minnesota settler, Ignatius Donnelly was born today in Philadelphia, 1831. His books include THE GREAT CRYPTOGRAM, ATLANTIS, and CAESAR'S COLUMN.

It's the birthday of longtime NEW YORK EVENING POST editor William Cullen Bryant, born in Cummington, Massachusetts, 1794.

Stephen Fuller Austin, one of the founders of the state of Texas, was born on this day in Wythe County, Virginia, 1793.

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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