Fun_People Archive
3 Dec
LIT BITS V3 #338

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun,  3 Dec 100 16:22:44 -0800
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #338

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #338

Today is Monday, 4 December 2000; on this day,

391 years ago (1609),

     Scots poet best known for his religious poems and an early example of
     autobiography ("Epistle to Maister Gilbert Mont-Crief"), Alexander
     Hume, dies in Logie, near Stirling.

351 years ago (1649),

     Doctor-poet William Drummond, dies in Hawthornden, near Edinburgh.
     His _Poems_ contains a celebration of James I's visit to Scotland in

205 years ago (1795),

     Thomas Carlyle is born in Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire. His _History of
     the French Revolution_ will not be published until 1837 because most
     of the manuscript for the first volume is burned by John Stuart Mill's
     servant, who mistakes it for kindling. The setback prompts Carlyle to
     compare himself to a man who has "nearly killed himself accomplishing

165 years ago (1835),

     English novelist, essayist, and critic whose satire _Erewhon_ (1872)
     will foreshadow the collapse of the Victorian illusion of eternal
     progress, Samuel Butler, is born in Langar Rectory, Nottinghamshire.
     His autobiographical novel, _The Way of All Flesh_ (1903), is generally
     considered his masterpiece.

125 years ago (1875),

     Lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke is born in Prague.

88 years ago (1912),

     "The general strike was the one great victory we American socialists
     won. On 4 December the American minister was withdrawn from the German
     capital. That night a German fleet made a dash on Honolulu, sinking
     three American cruisers and a revenue cutter, and bombarding the city.
     Next day both Germany and the United States declared war, and within
     an hour the socialists called the general strike in both countries."
     The war, in Jack London's _The Iron Heel_, is called off within a week
     because no one agrees to fight.

Today's poem:

              The Sonnets to Orpheus: I

     Breathing: you invisible poem!
     interchange of our own
     essence with world-space. You counterweight
     in which I rhythmically happen.

     Single wave-motion whose
     gradual sea I am:
     you, most inclusive of all our possible seas-
     space has grown warm.

     How many regions in space have already been
     inside me. There are winds that seem like
     my wandering son.

     Do you recognize me, air, full of places I once absorbed?
     You who were the smooth bark,
     roundness, and leaf of my words.

     (Translated by Stephen Mitchell)

                                                Rainer Rilke

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