Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Frankfort, KY for a performance of classic love songs, 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 bring their show to Maryville, TN for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
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
Palm Desert, CA
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Palm Desert, CA for a performance of holiday songs, humor and The News from Lake Wobegon.
Town Hall, New York City
A Prairie Home Companion American Revival comes to Town Hall in New York City with Christine DiGiallonardo, Heather Masse, Rob Fisher and the Demitasse Orchestra, Rich Dworsky, Walter Bobbie, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
The World Is Too Much With Us
by William Wordsworth
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
“The World Is Too Much With Us” by William Wordsworth. Public domain. (buy now)
On this date in 2003, the journal Nature reported the discovery of 350,000-year-old fossilized human footprints in Italy. The Italian footprints reported in Nature are about eight inches long and four inches wide, and their makers were probably no taller than five feet.
Thousands of people reported mysterious lights over Arizona on this date in 1997. It began around 8:00 p.m., when a man in Henderson, Nevada, saw a V-shaped object “the size of a 747,” with six lights on its leading edge. The lights moved from northwest to southeast. Over the course of the next hour, sightings were reported throughout Arizona, as far south as Tucson — a distance of nearly 400 miles. One cement truck driver reported that the lights hovered over Phoenix for more than two hours, and said:
“I’ll never be the same. Before this, if anybody had told me they saw a UFO, I would’ve said, ‘Yeah and I believe in the Tooth Fairy.’ Now I’ve got a whole new view and I may be just a dumb truck driver, but I’ve seen something that don’t belong here.”
It’s the birthday of Uncle Sam. He made his debut on this day in 1852 as a cartoon in the New York Lantern, drawn by Frank Henry Bellew. The name “Uncle Sam” had been used to refer to the United States since about 1810, but this was the first time that someone thought to make him into a character and draw him in human form.
On this date in 1781 English astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. He wasn’t the first keen-eyed observer to spot the planet — John Flamsteed noted it in 1690 — but he was the first one to figure out that it was a planet and not a star. He could tell by how slowly it was moving that it must be very far from the Sun, farther even than Saturn, which was the farthest known planet. He offered to name the planet “Georgium Sidus,” after his patron King George III, but it was decided instead to stick with the Greco-Roman deity theme. The planet was named after Ouranos, the Greek god of the sky. Over the years, astronomers have discovered 27 moons orbiting the blue-green ice giant, and they’ve named the moons after characters from Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Uranus’s axis is tilted so far that it appears to be lying on its side, and its rings circle the planet vertically.
It’s the birthday of George Seferis (books by this author), born Giorgos Seferiades in Smyrna, Asia Minor (1900). In addition to a long and successful diplomatic career, Seferis was a celebrated Greek poet, writer, and translator, who was awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in literature. His lyrical, narrative poetry, collected in Mythistorema (Mythical Narrative) (1935), Tetradio Gymnasmaton (Book of Exercises) (1940), and a series of Emerologio Katastromatos (Logbooks), encompassed the great history of Greece as well as its mythical literary legacy.
It was on this day in 1891 that Henrik Ibsen‘s play Ghosts opened on the London stage (books by this author). Ghosts was considered a controversial play because it included content about incest and sexually transmitted diseases, and Ibsen refused to give his audiences the happy endings they were used to. When it premiered in London the play had already been banned in St. Petersburg on religious grounds.
Henrik Ibsen predicted the public’s negative reaction to Ghosts. He wrote in 1882:
“It may well be that the play is in several respects rather daring. But it seemed to me that the time had come for moving some boundary-posts. And this was an undertaking for which a man of the older generation, like myself, was better fitted for than the many younger authors who might desire to do something of the kind. I was prepared for a storm; but such storms one must not shrink from encountering.”
Henrik Ibsen wrote in Act 2:
“I almost think we’re all of us Ghosts … It’s not only what we have invited from our father and mother that walks in us. It’s all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can’t get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.”
It’s the birthday of journalist Janet Flanner (books by this author), born in Indianapolis (1892). Her first “Letter from Paris” appeared in The New Yorker in October of 1925, and she continued writing it for 50 years. It became a biweekly feature of the magazine in which she wrote about how public political news affected private lives. Without telling her, editor Harold Ross gave Flanner the penname Genêt, which he thought was the French name for Janet, but is actually a variant of the French word for female donkey.
She wrote slowly and painstakingly, spending four of five full 12-hour days on a 2,500-word letter. She said, “I keep going over a sentence. I nag it, gnaw it, pat and flatter it.” Her letters were witty, elegant, and humorous, which suited well the New Yorker style. She also wrote many profiles, including ones of Hitler, Queen Mary of England, Isadora Duncan, Matisse, Picasso, Edith Wharton, and Dr. Thomas Mann, many of which were collected in An American in Paris: Profile of an Interlude Between Two Wars (1940). She wrote one novel, Cubical City (1926), published a few books of essays — including London Was Yesterday (1975) — and translated several French books into English.
She said, “I act as a sponge. I soak it up and squeeze it out in ink every two weeks.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®