Feb. 15, 1997

Double Feature

by Theodore Roethke


Today's Reading:"Double Feature" by Theodore Roethke from THE COLLECTED POEMS OF THEODORE ROETHKE, published by Doubleday (1966).

It's the birthday of cartoonist Matt Groening, the creator of THE SIMPSONS, born in Portland, Oregon, in 1954.

It's the birthday of composer, arranger, and pianist Harold Arlen ("Stormy Weather," "It's Only a Paper Moon," "That Old Black Magic," "Over the Rainbow"), born in Buffalo, New York, 1905.

Actor John Barrymore, whose family includes siblings Ethel and Lionel, children Diana and John, and granddaughter Drew, was born on this day in Philadelphia in 1882.

It's the birthday of piano builder Henry Englehard Steinway, born in Wolfshagen, Braunschweig, in 1797. He moved to New York in 1849 and opened a shop there.

Italian mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei, who devised the law of uniformly accelerated motion, proving that objects of different weights fall at the same speed, was born on this day in Pisa, in 1654.

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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