Category Archives: writers

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Swift

“[He is] the most vigorous hater we’ve ever had in our literature.” — Edgell Rickword on Jonathan Swift Primarily known for Gulliver’s Travels (here’s my post about it) and A Modest Proposal he was also a poet of uncommon gifts. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Meg, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden. “That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the … Continue reading

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Happy (Belated) Birthday, William Blake

“I mean, don’t you think it’s a little bit excessive?” “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. William Blake.” Pause. “William Blake?” “William Blake!” “William Blake???” “William Blake!!!” — BULL DURHAM “It is an honesty against which … Continue reading

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“Do I Terrify?”: Happy Birthday, Sylvia Plath

Yes, Sylvia, you do. Especially when I listen to the recording of you reading your poem “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 … 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, friend to Coleridge, wrote: Coleridge has told me that he himself liked to … 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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Happy Birthday, e.e. cummings!

I responded to e.e. cummings in a visceral way when I first had to read his stuff in high school. I didn’t know what it was all about, but I loved the syntax, the unmistakable look of his poem on … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

So you see that old libel that we were cynics and skeptics was nonsense from the beginning. On the contrary we were the great believers. — F. Scott Fitzgerald, “My Generation” Fitzgerald was one of those writers I liked right … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Emily Brontë: “a solitude-loving raven, no gentle dove”

Emily is the most intriguing and hard-to-get-a-handle-on Brontë sister. Branwell, the mysterious brother, is another story entirely. If I could meet one of the Brontë siblings, it would be hard to choose, but it would be between Emily and Branwell. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins is a poet near and dear to my heart. I wrote a long post about him here. Biographical information, thoughts on his verse, his philosophy, at that link. Tangent, Yet Related And funny how connections remain, dovetailing, … Continue reading

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