Mar. 3, 1997

Woman with Flower

by Naomi Long Madgett


Today's Reading:"Woman with Flower" by Naomi Long Madgett from THE GARDEN THRIVES, published by HarperPerennial.

In Boston today the international exhibit, "Leonardo Da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist" opens at the Museum of Science, with over 250 drawings and working models of his inventions. The exhibit will be here for six months before moving on to Singapore.

On this day in 1931 Congress designated "The Star-Spangled Banner," an old British drinking song, as the national anthem for the United States.

It's the birthday of crime writer Nicolas Freeling, creator of the Dutch police inspector Piet van der Valk. He was born in London in 1927.

It's the birthday of Pulitzer Prize winning poet James Merrill (DIVINE COMEDIES), born in New York City in 1926.

The first issue of TIME magazine came out on this day in 1923. Henry R. Luce, just out of Yale, was its editor.

Cartoonist Ronald Searle, who became known for his series picturing schoolgirls of St. Trinian's School, was born on this day in Cambridge, England, 1920.

Biochemist Arthur Kornberg, who with his partner won the 1959 Nobel Prize for the discovery of mechanisms in the biological synthesis of RNA and DNA, was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York, 1918.

It's the birthday of stage producer Robert Whitehead, who produced 50 Broadway shows including THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, BUS STOP, and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS; born in Montreal in 1916.

Actress Jean Harlow (HELL'S ANGELS; DINNER AT EIGHT) was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on this day in 1911.

General Matthew B. Ridgway, who parachuted with his troops into Normandy on D-Day, was born on this day at Fort Monroe, Virginia, 1895.

It's the birthday of baseball Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler, born in Brooklyn, New York, 1872, who said, "Keep your eye clear and hit 'em where they ain't."

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