Fun_People Archive
25 May
LIT BITS V3 #145

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 25 May 100 15:03:05 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #145

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #145

Today is Thursday, 25 May 2000; on this day,

197 years ago (1803),

	Edward Bulwer-Lytton, dramatist and novelist (_The Last Days of
     Pomperi_), is born in London. (His novel _Paul Clifford_ will begin:
     "It was a dark and stormy night. . . .")

197 years ago (1803),

	Ralph Waldo Emerson is born in Boston. Herman Melville will remark:
     "I could readily see in Emerson . . . the insinuation that had he
     lived in those days when the world was made he might have offered some
     valuable suggestions."

92 years ago (1908),

	Poet Theodore Roethke is born in Saginaw, Michigan.

89 years ago (1911),

	Following the death of Gustav Mahler, Thomas Mann visits the Lido
     and conceives the idea for _Death in Venice_.

Today's poem:

                        The Rhodora

     On being asked, Whence is the flower?

     In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
     I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
     Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
     To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
     The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
     Made the black water with their beauty gay;
     Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
     And court the flower that cheapens his array.
     Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
     This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
     Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
     Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
     Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
     I never thought to ask, I never knew:
     But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
     The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.

                                               Ralph Emerson

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