Lighting a candle in toxic air.
by Ronald Bruce Meyer (aka Uptight, Late-Night, Stage Fright Ronald, the Duke of Doggerel) 9 December 2001* Between the hours of daylight and the fully settled sun Comes a time that's not yet nightfall, when the day is not yet done. Yet the darkness isn't ready yet to hang the noose on night, For […]
June 14: Che Guevara (1928)
It was on this date, June 14, 1928, that Argentine-born Marxist revolutionist, physician and military leader Che Guevara was born Ernesto Guevara (Lynch) in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. He grew up in a family which already had leftist leanings, but which also valued education: Guevara’s reading list not only included Karl Marx but William Faulkner, […]
May 21: Alexander Pope
In an earlier age, a Deist of Pope's beliefs would have been tried and either burned or hanged for impiety. Today, no longer having the power to do that, they embrace him as a "Catholic poet."
November 23: Jennifer Michael Hecht (1965)
It was on this date, November 23, 1965, that American poet, historian, philosopher, and author Jennifer Michael Hecht was born on Long Island, in New York. By 1995 she had earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Columbia University, where she now teaches poetry in the Graduate Writing Program, while also teaching poetry […]
August 29: Maurice Maeterlinck (1862)
It was on this date, August 29, 1862, that Belgian symbolist playwright, poet and Nobel laureate Maurice Maeterlinck was born Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck in Ghent, Belgium, into a wealthy, French-speaking family. Education under Jesuit control and literary restrictions instilled in Maeterlinck a distaste for the Catholic Church and organized religion generally. “The decent […]
August 12: Jacinto Benavente (1866)
It was on this date, August 12, 1866, that Spanish dramatist Jacinto Benavente y Martínez was born in Madrid. One of the most important Spanish dramatists of the 20th century, Benavente wrote over 170 plays, including La comida de las fieras (The Food of the Beasts, 1898), an attack on aristocrats, La Gobernadora (The Governor, […]
April 4: Remy de Gourmont (1858)
It was on this date, April 4, 1858, that French poet, novelist, and influential critic Remy de Gourmont was born. He earned a bachelor's degree in law at Caen in 1879 and upon his graduation he moved to Paris. From 1881 to 1891, de Gourmont was employed by the Bibliothèque nationale, where he began to […]
March 27: Alfred de Vigny (1797)
It was on this date, March 27, 1797, that French poet, playwright, and novelist Alfred de Vigny was born into an aristocratic family in the town of Loches in central France. His mother, a woman of strong will inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, saw to his early education. Although the French Revolution left the family in […]
March 24: William Morris (1834)
It was on this date, March 24, 1834, that English poet, artist, writer, and libertarian socialist William Morris was born in Walthamstow. As a youth he was an avid reader and at Oxford he was a zealous student of theology, ecclesiastical history medieval poetry and art. From there he was expected to join the Roman […]
November 10: Friedrich von Schiller
Friedrich von Schiller (1759) It was on this date, November 10, 1759, that Germany's second-greatest poet (after Goethe), Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, was born in Marbach, Württemberg, of pious Lutheran parents. Rather than study theology, Schiller went to military school, but was dismissed for writing an essay critical of religion (On the Relation Between […]
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