LIT BITS V2 #352
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 99 19:21:20 -0800
Subject: LIT BITS V2 #352
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V2 #352
Today is Monday, 20 December 1999; on this day,
235 years ago (1764),
Horace Walpole writes a friend: "The works of [Samuel] Richardson
. . . are pictures of high life as conceived by a bookseller, and
romances as they would be spiritualized by a Methodist preacher."
128 years ago (1871),
In the _Chicago Tribune_, Mark Twain compares himself to George
Washington: "I have a higher and greater standard of principle.
Washington could not lie. I _can_ lie but I won't."
38 years ago (1961),
One of the most successful American playwrights of the 20th century,
Moss Hart, dies in Palm Springs, California. Many of his successful
plays were written together with George S. Kaufman.
31 years ago (1968),
At 66, John Steinbeck dies of a heart ailment in New York.
31 years ago (1968),
Franz Kafka's friend, Jewish author Max Brod, dies in Tel Aviv
(Jaffa). Having ignored his friend's last will to burn all the
manuscripts, he handed down the writings of one of the most important
German-speaking writers of the 20th century to posterity. He had also
written the first biography of Kafka.
2 years ago (1997),
The author of more than 20 volumes of poetry--ranging from her first
American collection _Here and How_ (1946) to _Sands of the Well_
(1996), poet Denise Levertov (_The Jacob's Ladder_) dies in Seattle,
I like to find
what's not found
at once, but lies
within something of another nature,
in repose, distinct.
Gull feathers of glass, hidden
in white pulp: the bones of squid
which I pull out and lay
blade by blade on the draining board--
tapered as if for swiftness, to pierce
the heart, but fragile, substance
belying design. Or a fruit, _mamey_,
cased in rough brown peel, the flesh
rose-amber, and the seed:
the seed a stone of wood, carved and
polished, walnut-colored, formed
like a brazilnut, but large,
large enough to fill
the hungry palm of a hand.
I like the juicy stem of grass that grows
within the coarser leaf folded round,
and the butteryellow glow
in the narrow flute from which the morning-glory
opens blue and cool on a hot morning.
© 1999 Peter Langston