Category Archives: On This Day

For Veterans Day: Private Presley

Sept. 23, 1958: Interview with Elvis Presley in the library of the U.S.S. Randall just before sailing Elvis had had a chaotic couple of days, taking the train up from Texas with his fellow soldiers to Brooklyn Army Terminal. He … Continue reading

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“I Hold Back Nothing.” – Anne Sexton

Today is the birthday of poet Anne Sexton. When you read the Complete Poems, you can feel her sliding off the rails at the end (I’m not talking about mentally, I’m talking about the quality of her work, although the … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Ralph Macchio

Yesterday was Ralph Macchio’s birthday. I always knew Ralph Macchio was something special. I knew it before Karate Kid. I knew it from Eight is Enough. I clocked him as awesome from the beginning. I felt territorial. When everyone and … Continue reading

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On This Day: October 30, 1938

Conversation between Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles: PB: I’ve often wondered if you had any idea, before you did it, that War of the Worlds was going to get that kind of response. OW. The kind of response, yes – … Continue reading

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“Do I Terrify?”

Yes, Sylvia, you do, especially when I hear you read “Lady Lazarus.” It’s Sylvia Plath’s birthday today. Here’s a draft of “Stings,” written in the month of October, 1962, the productive (understatement) month when she wrote many of the poems … Continue reading

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On This Day: October 25, 1415: “We Few, We Happy Few.”

Today is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, cobblers by trade (and patron saints thereof, although Vatican II nixed them from the calendar), fierce warriors of their faith, and martyred in 286. The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“These are the pure Magic. These are the clear vision. The rest is only poetry.” – Rudyard Kipling on John Keats and Samuel Taylor Coleridge William Hazlitt, friends to both men, wrote: Coleridge has told me that he himself liked … Continue reading

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Rimbaud’s Son

An essay I wrote years ago, posted today in honor of the birthday of poet Arthur Rimbaud A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their … Continue reading

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Today In History: October 19, 1781

The surrender at Yorktown, which ended the American Revolutionary War. Day before: General Lord Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington, October 18, 1781 I agree to open a treaty of capitulation upon the basis of the garrisons of York and … Continue reading

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“It Is Absurd To Divide People Into Good and Bad. People Are Either Charming or Tedious.”

So said Oscar Wilde, whose birthday it is today. His mother, Jane Speranza Francesca Wilde (aka Lady Wilde, aka “Speranza”) was an incredible woman in the canon of Irish literary history certainly, not to mention its politics and social upheaval. … Continue reading

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