Fun_People Archive
19 May
LIT BITS V3 #140

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 19 May 100 17:30:01 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #140

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #140

Today is Saturday, 20 May 2000; on this day,

201 years ago (1799),

	Honore Balzac is born in Tours, France. In 1819 he will leave his
     law clerk's job to return home to announce that he is going to be an
     author. Under a picture of the former emperor, he writes: "What
     Napoleon could not do with the sword, I shall accomplish with the
     pen." He then adds "de" to his name and pretends to be of noble birth.

155 years ago (1845),

	Robert Browning pays his first visit to Elizabeth Barrett, an
     invalid confined to a bedroom by her despotic father.

69 years ago (1931),

	Anais Nin, joining Shakespeare and Company, borrows e. e.
     cummings', _Enormous Room_.

54 years ago (1946),

	W. H. Auden becomes an American citizen.

44 years ago (1956),

	In Rapallo, Italy, his home for the past 45 years, English
     caricaturist, writer, and dandy, Maximilian Beerbohm, dies. As a
     parodist, he remains unsurpassed.

Today's poem:

                       Funeral Blues

     Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
     Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
     Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
     Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

     Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
     Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
     Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
     Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

     He was my North, my South, my East and West,
     My working week and my Sunday rest,
     My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
     I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

     The stars are not wanted now; put out every one:
     Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
     Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods:
     For nothing now can ever come to any good.

                                                 W. H. Auden

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