Sep. 17, 1997

The Artist

by William Carlos Williams


Today's Reading:  "The Artist" William Carlos Williams from COLLECTED POEMS 1939-1962, published by New Directions.

Political cartoonist Jeff MacNelly, creator of the comic strip SHOE, was born in New York City, in 1947.

Writer Ken Kesey, author of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION, was born in La Junta, Colorado, in 1935.

Country singer and songwriter Hank Williams was born in Georgiana, Alabama, in 1923.

Gothic novelist Mary Stewart was born in Sunderland, England, in 1916.

English choreographer Frederick Ashton was born in Guayaquil, Equador, in 1904.

Physician and poet William Carlos Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, in 1883.

One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam, took place in 1862 along Antietam Creek, near the Potomac River in northern Maryland.

The United States' constitution was unanimously approved in 1787 by delegates from 12 states during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

It was on this day in 1630 that Boston was officially named after the town of the same name in Lincolnshire, England.

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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