Oct. 28, 2002

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Poem: "ruin," by Charles Bukowski from Septuagenarian Stew (Black Sparrow Press).


William Saroyan said, "I ruined my
life by marrying the same woman

there will always be something
to ruin our lives,
it all depends upon
what or which
finds us
we are always
ripe and ready
to be

ruined lives are
both for the wise

it is only when
that life
becomes ours
we realize
that the suicides, the
drunkards, the mad, the
jailed, the dopers
and etc. etc.
are just as common
a part of existence
as the gladiola, the
and nothing
on the kitchen

On this day in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.

It's the birthday of Russian novelist, poet, and playwright Ivan Turgenev, born in the Ukraine region of Russia (1818). He wrote Fathers and Sons, the publication of which aroused such hostile criticism, and forced him to leave Russia.

It's the birthday of American composer and conductor Howard Hanson, born in Wahoo, Nebraska (1896). He wrote one opera, Merry Mount. It was put on by the Metropolitan Opera and at its premier it received fifty curtain which is still a house record at the Met.

It's the birthday the man who took the National Geographic Magazine from being a scholarly journal to being magazine for every reader, Gilbert H. Grosvenor, born in Constantinople (1875). He turned down the scholarly articles that were being sent to the magazine and looked for articles written for anybody of any scholarly background. Under his editorial leadership, the magazine grew from a circulation of just a few hundred to 5,000,000.

It is the birthday of poet John Hollander, born in New York City in 1929. He wrote many collections of poems including Movie-Going (1962). He served his apprenticeship translating Baudelaire. He wrote, "When Adam found his rib was gone he cursed and sighed and cried and swore and looked with cold resentment on the creature God has used it for."

It's the birthday of the great English satarist and novelist Evelyn [Arthur St. John] Waugh, born in London (1903). His mother named him Evelyn on a whim, there being no real explanation for his name other than that. Interestingly, his first wife was named Evelyn. At the age of twenty-four, unsure of where his life was going he wrote the following in his journal: "It seems to me the time has arrived to set about being a man of letters." With that, he began his writing career. His books include Decline and Fall (1928) and Brideshead Revisited (1945). He said, "Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography" and "Punctuality is a virtue of the bored."

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