Fun_People Archive
14 Aug
LIT BITS V3 #228

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 100 20:16:10 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #228

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #228

Today is Tuesday, 15 August 2000; on this day,

229 years ago (1771),

     Sir Walter Scott is born in Edinburgh.

215 years ago (1785),

     Thomas De Quincey, (_Confessions of an English Opium-Eater_) is born
     in Manchester.

142 years ago (1858),

     In London, England, children's author, novelist, and poet, Edith Nesbit
     is born. Her ordinary country life in Kent will provide the scenes
     for more than 60 books for juveniles, as well as less successful novels
     and collections of poetry for adults. She will be one of the founders
     of an association known as the Fellowship of New Life, out of which
     will grow the Fabian Society.

113 years ago (1887),

     Novelist and playwright Edna Ferber (_So Big_) is born in Kalamazoo,
     Michigan. She will suggest, "The ideal view for daily writing, hour
     on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing
     this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible."

112 years ago (1888),

     The author of _The Seven Pillars of Wisdom_, T. E. Lawrence (who will
     become known as Lawrence of Arabia), is born in Tremadoc, Caemarvonshire.

Today's poem:

                         The Despot

     The garden mould was damp and chill,
     Winter had had his brutal will
     Since over all the year's content
     His devastating legions went.

     Then Spring's bright banners came: there woke
     Millions of little growing folk
     Who thrilled to know the winter done,
     Gave thanks, and strove towards the sun.

     Not so the elect; reserved, and slow
     To trust a stranger-sun and grow,
     They hesitated, cowered and hid
     Waiting to see what others did.

     Yet even they, a little, grew,
     Put out prim leaves to day and dew,
     And lifted level formal heads
     In their appointed garden beds.

     The gardener came: he coldly loved
     The flowers that lived as he approved,
     That duly, decorously grew
     As he, the despot, meant them to.

     He saw the wildlings flower more brave
     And bright than any cultured slave;
     Yet, since he had not set them there,
     He hated them for being fair.

     So he uprooted, one by one
     The free things that had loved the sun,
     The happy, eager, fruitful seeds
     That had not known that they were weeds.

                                                Edith Nesbit

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