Fun_People Archive
19 Apr
LIT BITS V3 #110

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 100 20:59:43 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #110

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #110

Today is Thursday, 20 April 2000; on this day,

113 years ago (1887),

	Oscar Wilde writes: "Every great man nowadays has his disciples,
     and it is usually Judas who writes the biography."

106 years ago (1894),

	Modernist Dutch poet noted for his intensely original imagery and
     extraordinary command of poetic technique, Martinus Nijhoff, is born
     in The Hague. His first collection of poetry will be _De wandelaar_
     ("The Walker," 1916), expressionistic poems that reveal in traditional
     verse an essentially modern anguish and despair.

88 years ago (1912),

	Though he will write several Gothic novels by the time he dies on
     this day, none will reach the popularity of _Dracula_, Bram Stoker's
     most popular.

18 years ago (1982),

	Poet and playwright Archibald MacLeish, 89, dies in Boston.

4 years ago (1996),

	The model for the human in the Winnie-the-Pooh books, Christopher
     Robin Milne, dies.

2 years ago (1998),

	Mexico's greatest poet, writer, critic, and winner of the 1990
     Nobel Prize for Literature, Octavio Paz dies in Mexico City. Paz, a
     prolific writer, is best known for two of his earlier works: the
     book-length essay "The Labyrinth of Solitude" and the poem "Sun Stone."

Today's poem:

                        Ars Poetica

     A poem should be palpable and mute
     As a globed fruit,

     As old medallions to the thumb,

     Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
     Of casement ledges where the moss has grown--

     A poem should be wordless
     As the flight of birds.

     A poem should be motionless in time
     As the moon climbs,

     Leaving, as the moon releases
     Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

     Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
     Memory by memory the mind--

     A poem should be motionless in time
     As the moon climbs.

     A poem should be equal to:
     Not true.

     For all the history of grief
     An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

     For love
     The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea--

     A poem should not mean
     But be.

                                          Archibald MacLeish

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