Sep. 3, 1997

People Like Us

by Robert Bly


Today's Reading: "People Like Us" by Robert Bly from MORNING POEMS, published by HarperCollins (1997).

Richard Upton, the father of the New Hampshire primary, was born in Bow, New Hampshire, in 1914.

Physicist Carl Anderson, who won the 1936 Nobel for his discovery of the positron, or positive electron, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1907.

It's the birthday of theologian Richard Niebuhr, who coined the term "theological Existentialism," born in Wright City, Missouri in 1894.

Automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche, designer of the Volkswagen in 1934 and the Porsche sports car in 1950, was born in Hafersdorf, Austria, in 1875.

Architect Louis Henry Sullivan, who said "form ever follows function," was born in Boston in 1856.

Writer Sarah Orne Jewett, author of THE COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS, was born in South Berwick, Maine, in 1849.

New England School teacher Prudence Crandall, who opened a school for "young women of colour," was born in Hopkinton, Rhode Island in 1803.

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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