Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
by Billy Collins
The way the dog trots out the front door
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.
Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance—
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?
Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.
If only she did not shove the cat aside
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.
“Dharma” by Billy Collins from Sailing Alone Around the Room. Random House, 2002. Permission by Chris Calhoun Agency, © Billy Collins. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim (books by this author), born in New York City (1930). His musicals include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd (1979), and Into the Woods (1987).
He said, “I prefer neurotic people. I like to hear rumblings beneath the surface.”
It’s the birthday of the poet Billy Collins (books by this author), born in New York City (1941). He wrote his first poem at the age of seven when he was driving with his parents and looked out the river and saw a sailboat on the East River.
He continued to write poems even after he became an English professor. He wrote a couple of books before his breakthrough in 1988, when he published The Apple That Astonished Paris. He gained a following throughout the next decade, and by 1999, The New York Times called him “the most popular poet in America,” pointing out that three of his four books were in the top 16 best-sellers on Amazon.com, competing with Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and songwriters like Jewel and Jim Morrison.
His books include The Art of Drowning (1995), Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001), and Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems (2014). His newest collection, Whale Day, is out this year.
Billy Collins said: “I don’t think people read poetry because they’re interested in the poet. I think they’re read poetry because they’re interested in themselves.”
It’s the birthday of Edith Grossman, (books by this author) born in Philadelphia (1936). Her parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, but Grossman became obsessed with Spanish. She said: “My high school Spanish teacher just reached me. I said whatever this woman is doing I want to do.”
She went to Spain on a Fulbright grant to study medieval poetry. But when she began to read the poetry of Pablo Neruda and César Vallejo, Grossman decided to focus on contemporary Latin American literature.
She got a job as a professor of Spanish literature in New York City, and she translated a few complete novels. Then, in the mid-1980s, she set out to translate Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. She knew that William Faulkner was one of García Márquez’s favorite English-language authors, so she used Faulkner’s style as a guide for her translation. When her translation of Love in the Time of Cholera came out, it was such a success that she was able to quit teaching and begin translating full time. She translated all of the books that García Márquez published after 1990, and he called her “my voice in English.”
HarperCollins asked Grossman if she would consider translating Don Quixote. She worked on the book for two years straight. When it came out in 2003, it was hailed as the best English translation of the novel in a long time, and it became a huge best-seller.
Every morning Edith Grossman goes for a walk and works on a crossword puzzle before she starts her translation work.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®