A Writer's Moment: 'Writing, Publishing - two separate things' : “I always tell students that writing a poem and publishing i...
A Writer's Moment: 'Companions in One's Life' : “Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it, the past w...
A Writer's Moment: Learning Through Experience : “The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is...
“The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is through experience; seeing something with our own ey...
“I envy those writers who outline their novels, who know where they’re going, but I find writing is a process of discovery.” – Jay McIner...
A Writer's Moment: Making Reading Fun : “Kids enjoy laughing and are seldom bored when they find something funny. They also ask questi...
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Monday, March 27, 2023
Saturday, March 25, 2023
you write it doesn't occur to you that somebody could think different from what
you do.” – Howard Nemerov
Nemerov, born in March 1920, twice served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and was thrice-honored for The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov, winning the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and Bollingen Prize.
A teacher first, he said he always enjoyed talking to kids. “I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and was doing me because, ‘though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try’.” For Saturday’s Poem, here is Nemerov’s,
Found Poem (After information received in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1986)
The population center of the USA
Has shifted to Potosi, in Missouri.
The calculation employed by authorities
In arriving at this dislocation assumes
That the country is a geometric plane,
Perfectly flat, and that every citizen,
Including those in Alaska and Hawaii
And the District of Columbia, weighs the same;
So that, given these simple presuppositions,
The entire bulk and spread of all the people
Should theoretically balance on the point
Of a needle under Potosi in Missouri
Where no one is residing nowadays
But the watchman over an abandoned mine
Whence the company got the lead out and left.
'It gets pretty lonely here,' he says, 'at night.'
Friday, March 24, 2023
Fo’s writings – translated into 30 languages – address issues ranging from dictatorial brutality to AIDS, religion, organized crime, and “military actions.” His satire, he said, can be adapted to unjust situations throughout the world. “Satire can always be found everywhere. A people without love for satire is a dead people.”
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Her advice to new writers is first write for the love of it. “If you make best-sellerdom your goal, you're going to be in trouble. It's a very nice thing to have happen, but if one makes that a goal like, say, a literary writer has the goal of getting the Pulitzer Prize, that's so unpredictable.”
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
“One of the nice things about books as opposed to television and movies … is people really do get involved, and they do create, and they do have their own visions of what different characters look like and what should happen. It’s great. It means their brains are working.” – James Patterson
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Monday, March 20, 2023
“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” – Fred Rogers
Probably no other man had as much impact on children’s television as Fred McFeely Rogers, born this date in 1928 and famous, of course, for creating and hosting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS.
Initially planning to be a minister, Rogers found himself displeased with how television addressed children and made an effort to write things that could cause change. In the process he became an indelible icon of children’s entertainment and education, as well as a symbol of compassion, morality and morality.
At the time of his death (from cancer in 2003) he had been honored with some 40 honorary degrees, a Peabody Award for his writing, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, the first “Children’s Advocate” so named.
Rogers also became the first kids’ TV host to testify before Congress and get that grumpy group to support TV programming for kids and provide funding for it as well. Honored with two Congressional resolutions, he is ranked among the 35 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
“Try your best to make goodness attractive,” Rogers advised. “That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.”
Saturday, March 18, 2023
“The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, takes responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and avoids it. Without the hidden conspiracy of good will, society would not endure an hour.” – Kenneth Rexroth
Born in 1905, American poet, translator and critical essayist Rexroth laid the groundwork for what would become the 1950s beat movement. Dubbed the "Father of the Beats" by Time, he was among the first U.S. poets to explore Asian styles and co-created an anthology of Chinese women poets titled The Orchid Boat.
For Saturday’s Poem here is Rexroth’s,
Yin and Yang
It is Spring once more in the Coast
Warm, perfumed, under the Easter moon.
The flowers are back in their places.
The birds are back in their usual trees.
The winter stars set in the ocean.
The summer stars rise from the mountains.
The air is filled with atoms of quicksilver.
Resurrection envelops the earth.
Goemetrical, blazing, deathless,
Animals and men march through heaven,
Pacing their secret ceremony.
The Lion gives the moon to the Virgin.
She stands at the crossroads of heaven,
Holding the full moon in her right hand,
A glittering wheat ear in her left.
The climax of the rite of rebirth
Has ascended from the underworld
Is proclaimed in light from the zenith.
In the underworld the sun swims
Between the fish called Yes and No.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” – Albert Einstein
Today is a day Einstein would have enjoyed. It’s National Pi Day, named for the mathematical constant that’s the ratio of the distance around a circle to the circle’s diameter. This produces a number, and that number is always 3.141592653 . . . continuing without end but always the same numbers. It's quite helpful in solving problems or making discoveries.
Celebrating National Pi Day on 3-14 makes sense because the first three numbers are, of course, 3-14. I think Einstein would especially like National Pi Day (something that wasn’t celebrated while he was still alive) because it also falls on his birthday. Einstein (born in 1879) probably would have had as much fun with that as anyone because he often showed that he had a great sense of humor to go along with his brainy abilities.
He once noted that people should never kiss and drive at the same time. Because, he added, then you aren't giving the kiss the proper amount of attention. He also said – probably with a bit too much modesty – that he didn’t keep a notebook of his great ideas because “I’ve only ever had one."
A final note from Einstein: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Monday, March 13, 2023
Saturday, March 11, 2023
“Like a piece of ice on a hot stove a poem must ride on its own melting ... Read it a hundred times, it will forever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance. It can never lose its sense of a meaning that once unfolded by surprise as it went.”
– Robert Frost
I almost always think of Robert Frost’s poetry when I hear or see things in nature. This morning, unlike the bird that bothers Frost in his short poem below, the bird near our house is not singing off-key but, instead, just creating angry noise.
But I decided a noisy bird is still better than no bird. I just wish, like the bird Frost is annoyed with in his poem, it would work a little on its singing. For Saturday’s Poem, here is Frost’s,
A Minor Bird
I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.