Fun_People Archive
13 Jun
LIT BITS V3 #165

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 100 17:09:52 -0700
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #165

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #165

Today is Wednesday, 14 June 2000; on this day,

189 years ago (1811),

	Harriet Beecher Stowe is born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the
     daughter of the Rev. Lyman Beecher. In 1853, after the success of
     _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ has made her internationally famous, she will
     write a friend: "I am a little bit of a woman, --somewhat more than
     forty, about as thin and dry as a pinch of snuff never very much to
     look at in my best of days, and looking like a used-up article now."

117 years ago (1883),

	Poet and translator Edward FitzGerald (_The Rubaiyat of Omar
     Khayyam_) dies at 74 in Merton, Norfolk.

92 years ago (1908),

	Kathleen Raine, the daughter of a Scottish mother who will become
     Britain's most important twentieth-century nature poet, is born. She
     will enjoy a tempestuous relationship with Gavin Maxwell, and much of
     her finest poetry will be inspired by the landscapes of Wester Ross.

32 years ago (1968),

	After abandoning a career as an engineer at 34, producing more than
     ten volumes of poetry, publishing an astonishing range of translations,
     including classical poetry and drama, anthologies and significant
     critical essays, the 1959 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature,
     Salvatore Quasimodo dies in Naples.

Today's poem:

                   The Dream Called Life

	From the Spanish of Pedro Calderon de la Barca

     A dream it was in which I found myself.
     And you that hail me now, then hailed me king,
     In a brave palace that was all my own,
     Within, and all without it, mine; until,
     Drunk with excess of majesty and pride,
     Methought I towered so big and swelled so wide
     That of myself I burst the glittering bubble
     Which my ambition had about me blown,
     And all again was darkness. Such a dream
     As this, in which I may be walking now,
     Dispensing solemn justice to you shadows,
     Who make believe to listen; but anon
     Kings, princes, captains, warriors, plume and steel,
     Aye, even with all your airy theatre,
     May flit into the air you seem to rend
     With acclamations, leaving me to wake
     In the dark tower; or dreaming that I wake
     From this that waking is; or this and that,
     Both waking and both dreaming; such a doubt
     Confounds and clouds our moral life about.
     But whether wake or dreaming, this I know,
     How dreamwise human glories come and go;
     Whose momentary tenure not to break,
     Walking as one who knows he soon may wake,
     So fairly carry the full cup, so well
     Disordered insolence and passion quell,
     That there be nothing after to upbraid
     Dreamer or doer in the part he played;
     Whether tomorrow's dawn shall break the spell,
     Or the last trumpet of the Eternal Day,
     When dreaming, with the night, shall pass away.

                                           Edward Fitzgerald

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