Nov. 15, 1996

The Fish

by Marianne Moore

FRIDAY 11/15

Today's Reading:"The Fish" by Marianne Moore from THE COMPLETE POEMS OF MARIANNE MOORE, published by Faber and Faber.

It's the birthday today of the German army officer who tried but failed to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Claus Graf von Stauffenber, born in Jettingen, Germany, 1907.

Publisher Hamish Hamilton was born on this day in Indianapolis in 1900, but grew up with relatives in Scotland.

It's the birthday of artist Georgia O'Keefe, born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, 1887.

Poet and baseball fan Marianne Moore was born in St. Louis on this day in 1881.

Newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams (FPA) was born in Chicago on this day in 1881.

Atlanta burned on this day in 1864 as General Sherman and his army set out for Savannah on their March to the Sea.

Zebulon Pike discovered Pike's Peak on this day in 1806 while searching for the source of the Mississippi River.

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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