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.
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
During a five-decade literary career, American poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser (born December 15, 1913) produced work rich with commentary on human rights issues and inequalities of gender, race and class. Her more than a dozen poetry collections reacted to events including the Spanish Civil War and American aggression in Vietnam. One of her last poems, The Gates, was written after she traveled to South Korea to protest the imprisonment of poet Kim Chi-Ha.
Good writers are monotonous, like good composers. They keep trying to perfect the one problem they were born to understand.
Alberto Moravia (born November 28, 1907) was the pseudonym of Alberto Pincherle, a novelist and short story writer who made a profound impact on 20th-century Italian literature. Themes of isolation, alienation, and emotional emptiness pervade his work, which includes Time of Indifference, Two Adolescents, The Woman of Rome, and The Conformist.
I’m uninterested in superheroes. I am only interested in real stories, real people, real connection.
~Jamie Lee Curtis
Happy birthday, Jamie Lee Curtis. We know the actress (born November 22, 1958) for her memorable film roles and as the daughter of screen stars Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. Happily her résumé and pedigree have not clouded her generous spirit: She’s a bestselling children’s book author, with her work focusing on self-esteem, family bonds, and other positive themes.
Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
~Peter F. Drucker
Peter F. Drucker (born November 19, 1909) was a management consultant, educator, and author, whose prolific outpouring of books for more than half a century served as guideposts for the business world. His best-known works include The Effective Executive, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The Practice of Management, and Concept of the Corporation. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.
The nicest veterans…the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who’d really fought.
It’s Veterans Day and Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday. The bestselling author of Slaughterhouse-Five (born November 11, 1922) drew on his experiences during World War II to craft his satirical antiwar novel. He had been captured by the Germans and survived the firebombing of Dresden—an event that appears in the book. Among his other popular works are Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.