Sep. 10, 1997

Morning Poem

by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver


Today's Reading: "Wild Geese" and "Morning Poem" by Mary Oliver from NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, published by Beacon Press (1992).

In 1981 Pablo Picasso's painting GUERNICA was returned to Spain and installed in the Madrid's Prado Museum. Picasso had said in his will that the painting was not to return to Spain until the Fascists lost power and democracy was restored.

Paleontologist, biologist and writer Stephen Jay Gould, author of many popular books about science including TIME'S CYCLE and THE PANDA'S THUMB, was born in New York City in 1941.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver (WEST WIND)was born in Cleveland in 1935.

Journalist Charles Kuralt, known for his popular "On the Road" television program, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1934. He died in July at the age of 62.

Physicist Arthur Compton, who discovered and explained the change in the wavelength of x-rays when they collide with electrons, which became known as the Compton effect, was born in Wooster, Ohio, in 1892.

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