Feb. 27, 1997

A Psalm of Life

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Today's Reading:"A Psalm of Life" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

It's the birthday of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, born in Winsted, Connecticut, 1934.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, who won her first Oscar for playing a call girl in BUTTERFIELD 8, was born on this day in London, 1932.

It's the birthday of actress Joanne Woodward, born in Thomasville, Georgia, 1930.

Novelist Lawrence Durrell, known for his Alexandria Quartet novels: JUSTINE; BALTHAZAR, MOUNTOLIVE, and CLEA, was born on this day in Jullundur, India, 1912.

Writer Peter De Vries, poetry editor for POETRY MAGAZINE and THE NEW YORKER, was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois, 1910.

It's the birthday of author James T. Farrel (YOUNG LONIGAN), born on this day in Chicago, Illinois, 1904.

John Steinbeck (THE GRAPES OF WRATH; OF MICE AND MEN; CANNERY ROW) was born on this day in Salinas, California, 1902.

Singer Marian Anderson, who won a voice competition when she was 28, and appeared with the New York Philharmonic, was born in Philadelphia on this day in 1897.

Opera singer Lotte Lehmann was born in Perleberg, Germany, in 1888.

It's the birthday of the first American poet to earn a living from his work, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in Portland, Maine, 1807.

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