Fun_People Archive
19 Dec
LIT BITS V2 #352

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 99 19:21:20 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: LIT BITS V2 #352

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V2 #352

Today is Monday, 20 December 1999; on this day,

235 years ago (1764),

	Horace Walpole writes a friend: "The works of [Samuel] Richardson
     . . . are pictures of high life as conceived by a bookseller, and
     romances as they would be spiritualized by a Methodist preacher."

128 years ago (1871),

	In the _Chicago Tribune_, Mark Twain compares himself to George
     Washington: "I have a higher and greater standard of principle.
     Washington could not lie. I _can_ lie but I won't."

38 years ago (1961),

	One of the most successful American playwrights of the 20th century,
     Moss Hart, dies in Palm Springs, California. Many of his successful
     plays were written together with George S. Kaufman.

31 years ago (1968),

	At 66, John Steinbeck dies of a heart ailment in New York.

31 years ago (1968),

	Franz Kafka's friend, Jewish author Max Brod, dies in Tel Aviv
     (Jaffa). Having ignored his friend's last will to burn all the
     manuscripts, he handed down the writings of one of the most important
     German-speaking writers of the 20th century to posterity. He had also
     written the first biography of Kafka.

2 years ago (1997),

	The author of more than 20 volumes of poetry--ranging from her first
     American collection _Here and How_ (1946) to _Sands of the Well_
     (1996), poet Denise Levertov (_The Jacob's Ladder_) dies in Seattle,

Today's poem:


	I like to find
     what's not found
     at once, but lies

     within something of another nature,
     in repose, distinct.
     Gull feathers of glass, hidden

     in white pulp: the bones of squid
     which I pull out and lay
     blade by blade on the draining board--

	 tapered as if for swiftness, to pierce
	 the heart, but fragile, substance
	 belying design.	 Or a fruit, _mamey_,

     cased in rough brown peel, the flesh
     rose-amber, and the seed:
     the seed a stone of wood, carved and

     polished, walnut-colored, formed
     like a brazilnut, but large,
     large enough to fill
     the hungry palm of a hand.

     I like the juicy stem of grass that grows
     within the coarser leaf folded round,
     and the butteryellow glow

     in the narrow flute from which the morning-glory
     opens blue and cool on a hot morning.

                                             Denise Levertov


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