Dec. 13, 1997

The Persistence of Song

by Howard Moss


Today's Reading: "The Persistence of Song" by Howard Moss from SELECTED POEMS, published by Antheneum.

Today is Santa Lucia Day in Sweden, a nationwide celebration of light.

Physicist Philip Anderson, whose experiments on conductivity helped establish the basis for the development of amorphous semiconductors, was born in Indianapolis in 1923.

Poet, novelist and painter Kenneth Patchen was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1911.

Playwright, journalist, actor and director Marc Connelly, winner of the 1930 Pulitzer Prize for his play THE GREEN PASTURES, was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania in 1890.

The Battle of Fredericksburg took place in Virginia on this day in 1862, a resounding victory for the Confederates.

Botanist Alexis Millardet, who developed the first successful fungicide, was born in Monmerey-la-Ville, France in 1838.

Episcopal clergyman Phillips Brooks, remembered for his lyrics to "O Little Town of Bethlehem," was born in Boston in 1835.

German poet Heinrich Heine was born in Dusseldorf in 1797.

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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