Body and soul, let’s all go / transformed into arrows! / Piercing the air / body and soul, let’s go / with no turning back.
August 15, 1982: On this day, Ko Un was released from prison under a general amnesty. The former Buddhist monk, who had been given a life sentence for resisting the South Korean military dictatorship, went on to become one of the most acclaimed poets in Korea.
A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
August 1, 1915: Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken was first published in the Atlantic Monthly 102 years ago today. While the poem works as a metaphor for the weight we put on turning points in our lives, Frost later insisted the verses were simply inspired by a literal walk in the woods.
It is ‘where we are’ that should make all the difference, whether we believe we belong there or not.
After working on Wall Street for a year, Korean American novelist Chang-Rae Lee (born July 29, 1965) went back to school to get a masters degree in writing. Upon graduating, he turned his thesis into his first novel, the award-winning Native Speaker.
Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.
Happy birthday, Marie Lu! The young adult author of the Legend series has a “special love” for dystopian fiction, which may or may not have something to do with her being born in the year 1984.
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
In the beloved French novella The Little Prince, a pilot who has crashed in the desert encounters a young prince visiting Earth from his home asteroid. The premise was inspired by author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s (born June 29, 1900) own desert crash. After three days without water, he was saved by a passing Bedouin.
I want to understand you,
I study your obscure language.
Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (born June 6, 1799) was part of the country’s literati from age 15. By 26, he had begun publishing the serialization of Eugene Onegin, his novel in verse. By 37, he was dead, killed in one of the 29 duels that he fought in his short life.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
George Gordon Byron
May 17, 1824: Before dying in Greece, Lord Byron entrusted a friend with his memoirs. Other friends, worried that the memoirs would be scandalous, fought to destroy the manuscript—190 years ago today, they succeeded, tearing it up and burning it in the office of Byron’s publisher.