Fort Lauderdale, FL
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
West Bend, WI
Garrison Keillor brings his show to West Bend, WI for a performance of sing-a-longs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. A performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, WI
Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Friends (Fred Newman, Heather Masse, Rich Dworsky, Richard Kriehn & Dan Magraw) bring their show to Big Top Chautauqua for a performance of night of laughter, song and The News from Lake Wobegon.
“Nurture” by Maxine W. Kumin, from Selected Poems 1960-1990. © W.W. Norton & Company, 1989. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
From a documentary on marsupials I learn
that a pillowcase makes a fine
substitute pouch for an orphaned kangaroo.
I am drawn to such dramas of animal rescue.
They are warm in the throat. I suffer, the critic proclaims,
from an overabundance of maternal genes.
Bring me your fallen fledgling, your bummer lamb,
lead the abused, the starvelings, into my barn.
Advise the hunted deer to leap into my corn.
And had there been a wild child–
filthy and fierce as a ferret, he is called
in one nineteenth-century account–
a wild child to love, it is safe to assume,
given my fireside inked with paw prints,
there would have been room.
Think of the language we two, same and not-same,
might have constructed from sign,
scratch, grimace, grunt, vowel:
Laughter our first noun, and our long verb, howl.
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odor of death
Offends the September night.
Toward the end of the poem, which became one of Auden’s most famous, he says, “We must love one another or die.”
On this day in 1773, Phillis Wheatley (books by this author) published Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral, the first book ever published by a former American slave. She was bought by a family in Boston and they found her drawing a wall with chalk. It was clear she was trying to make letters, so the daughter of the family taught her to read. She started to write poetry and no publisher in America would publish it, so she went to London and published it there.
“Madam — It is the hardest thing in the world to be in love, and yet attend to business. As for me, all who speak to me do find out, and I must lock myself up, or other people will do it for me.
“A gentleman asked me this morning, ‘What news from Lisbon?’ and I answered, ‘She is exquisitely handsome.’ Another desired to know ‘when I had been last at Hampton Court?’ I replied, ‘It will be on Tuesday come se’nnight.’ Pr’ythee allow me at least to kiss your hand before that day, that my mind may be in some composure. O love!
“A thousand torments dwell about thee,
Yet who would live, to live without thee?”
They got married later in 1707. It was an extraordinarily happy and close companionship, and the couple stayed married until her death in 1718. During their relationship, Richard Steele wrote her more than 400 letters. During that time, he also co-founded The Spectator magazine along with Joseph Addison. Steele once wrote in The Spectator: “Of all the affections which attend human life, the love of glory is the most ardent.”
This was the date, in 1859, of a massive solar superstorm. It’s sometimes called the “perfect space storm” or the Carrington Event, after British astronomer Richard Carrington. He reported witnessing a massive white-light solar flare: a bright spot suddenly appearing on the surface of the Sun. At the same time, the Sun produced a coronal mass ejection, or CME: a large eruption of magnetized plasma. CMEs usually take three to four days to reach Earth, but the magnetic burst from the superstorm of 1859 reached us in just under 18 hours.
While Earthlings of 1859 didn’t have any cell phones, GPS units, or television signals to worry about, they were growing accustomed to rapid communication over the telegraph, which had been in use for 15 years. Within hours of the CME, telegraph wires began shorting out, starting fires and disrupting communication in North America and Europe. Compasses were useless because the Earth’s magnetic field had gone haywire. The northern lights were seen as far south as Cuba and Hawaii, and the southern lights — aurora australis — were seen in Santiago, Chile. People in the northeastern United States could read the newspaper by the light of the aurora, and the Sun itself was twice as bright during the event.
Subsequent solar storms have caused satellites, broadcast stations, and cell phones to malfunction; they’ve disrupted GPS systems on airplanes and have even knocked out entire power grids; in 1989, a storm much weaker than the superstorm of 1859 brought down the Hydro-Quebec power grid for more than nine hours.
The Boston subway system opened on this date in 1897. Traffic was terrible — especially streetcar traffic on Tremont Avenue — and the public’s complaints forced the governor to appoint a special commission to take up the matter in 1891. It was eventually decided to put in a combination of elevated railways for trains and subways for streetcar traffic, at a final cost of $4.4 million. There were some setbacks along the way, however. Workers were dismayed to find they’d cut too close to the Old Common Burial Ground, and they ended up accidentally exhuming more than 900 bodies. An explosion at Boylston and Tremont killed nine men. But the project was finished ahead of schedule and under budget.
On this date in 1902, the silent film A Trip to the Moon was released in France. It was written and directed by Georges Méliès and it was loosely based on two novels: Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon (1901). It ran about 14 minutes, which was considered a long feature in those days, and told a fairly simple story about a group of astronomers traveling to the Moon and meeting a group of aliens. Their spacecraft is shaped something like a bullet, and is fired from a giant cannon. In the film’s iconic shot, the rocket crashes into the eye of the Man in the Moon.
Méliès was the first director to think of using the new moving picture technology to tell a fictional story, and as a professional magician, he was especially interested in the way that the new medium could be used to create illusions. He made hundreds of fantastic movies featuring special effects, mostly using stop-motion photography: He would begin to film a scene with an object (or person) in it, stop the camera, remove the object, and begin filming again, which made it appear the object had suddenly vanished. But innovative as he was, it never occurred to him to change the camera angle, or move in for a close-up. He treated the frame of the film just like the proscenium of a stage, and the camera like a stationary observer.
Méliès produced a black-and-white version and a hand-colored version. A copy of the colored version was discovered in 1993, almost completely decomposed; it was restored over the course of the next 18 years and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year, with a new score by the French band AIR.