Feb. 3, 1997


by William Jay Smith


Today's Reading:"Dachshunds" by William Jay Smith from COLLECTED POEMS, 1939-1989, published by Scribners (1990).

Winter is half over today with 44 days remaining until the vernal equinox on March 20.

French mystic and philosopher Simone Weil was born on this day in Paris, 1909. She worked for the French Resistance during World War II but contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 34.

Novelist James A. Michener was born on this day in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1907. Roger and Hammerstein's Broadway musical SOUTH PACIFIC was based on his books book TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC.

Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, who created many of the foundations of modern Scandinavian design, was born on this day in 1898.

Artist Norman Rockwell, who illustrated over 300 covers for the SATURDAY EVENING POST, was born in New York City on this day in 1894.

Avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein (THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS) was born on this day in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, 1874, moving to Paris in 1903 where her home became a salon for leading painters and writers.

German composer and pianist Felix Mendelssohn (OVERTURE TO A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM) was born in Hamburg on this day in 1809.

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
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  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
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