Oct. 5, 1997

Song of Myself (excerpt)

by Walt Whitman


Today's Reading: Lines from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman.

Architect Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, was born in Athens, Ohio, 1959.

Czech playwright, poet and president Vaclav Havel was born in Prague in 1936.

Irish novelist and dramatist Flann O'Brien, author of THE HARD LIFE, THE THIRD POLICEMAN, and AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS, was born in Strabane, County Tyrone, in 1911.

Ray Croc, founder of the McDonald's hamburger franchise in 1955, was born in Chicago in 1902.

The first ball-point pen was patented on this day in 1880 by Alzonzo T. Cross.

Nez Perce Chief Joseph surrendered to U.S. Cavalary troops at Bear's Paw, Montana, in 1877, after leading 300 members of his tribe on a 1,000 mile trek in an attempt to escape to Canada instead of being forced to resettle on barren land in Oklahoma. "Hear me, my chiefs; my heart is sick and sad. >From where the Sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

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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