Jun. 6, 1997

Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief

by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief" by Maxine Kumin from SELECTED POEMS 1960-1990, published by W.W. Norton and Company.

Today is the anniversary of D-Day, in 1944, when Allied forces landed in Normandy on the north coast of France with a fleet of almost 3,000 ships, beginning the Allied invasion of occupied France; the largest amphibious landing in history

It's the birthday of poet, novelist, and children's author, Maxine Kumin, born in Philadelphia, in 1925.

It's the birthday of Yankees catcher Bill Dickey, considered the greatest catcher of all time; born in Bastrop, Louisiana, in 1907.

It's the birthday of jazz dance-band leader Jimmie Lunceford, born in Fulton, Mississippi, in1902.

It's the birthday of the greatest German novelist of the 20th century, Thomas Mann (BUDDENBROOKS; THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN), born in Lubeck, Germany, in 1875.

It's the birthday of polar explorer Robert F. Scott, who led the tragic expedition to the South Pole in 1910/11, where he and four others died. He was born in Devenport, England, in 1868.

American painter John Trumball, whose paintings of Revolutionary War scenes decorate the Capitol in Washington, D.C., was born Connecticut in 1756.

It's the birthday of the " father of French classical tragedy," Pierre Corneille, born in Rouen, France, in 1606.

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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