The Writer's Almanac – Thursday, June 13, 2019

and here is the writers Almanac for Thursday June the 13th 2019 it's the birthday of the novelist and diarist Francis Burnie born in Norfolk England 1752 she started keeping a diary when she was 16 years old and kept it up for over 70 years her father had some famous friends so she wrote about them dr. Johnson James Boswell David Garrick Sir Joshua Reynolds she was a lady-in-waiting at the court of King George the third and Queen Charlotte so she wrote about the madness of the King she married a French general Alexander d'herblay and thanks to him she got a close look at the Battle of Waterloo and wrote about that she also wrote about her own mastectomy performed without any anesthesia except a single glass of wine her first published novel Evelina or the history of a young lady's entrance into the world 1778 a comedy of manners was a great success and she succeeded in making novel writing an acceptable thing for women to do and inspire Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice which came along about 25 years later it's the birthday of Yeats William Butler Yeats born in Dublin 1865 he grew up a Protestant family at a time when Ireland was an English colony most members of the Irish Protestant upper class were pro-british but Yeats didn't care about politics he cared about poetry he fell in love with a beautiful actress named Maude Gunn who spoke out for Irish nationalism she became the love of his life and it was Maude gonne who inspired Yeats to try to use his writing as a force for national unity came to believe that if he could get in touch with the deep mythic history of the Irish people he could pull the country together with poetry and he spent years writing plays about Irish nationalism for Maude gun but she married somebody else and he gave up trying to her love gave up on the idea of writing poetry for the collective soul of Ireland wrote poetry for himself and about the same time that he stopped trying to use poetry as a political force he started getting involved in politics and served for six years in the Irish Senate here's a poem for today by William Butler Yeats entitled Adams curse we sat together at one summer's end that beautiful mild woman your close friend and you and I and talked to poetry I said a line will take us hours maybe yet if it does not seem a moment's thought our stitching and unstitching has been not better go down upon your marrow bones and scrub a kitchen pavement or break stones like an old pauper in all kinds of weather for to articulate sweet sounds together is to work harder than all these and yet be thought an idler by the noisy set of bankers school masters and clergymen the martyrs call the world and thereupon that beautiful mild woman for whose sake there's many a ones shall find out all heartache on finding that her voice is sweet and low replied to be born woman is to know although they do not talk of it at school that we must labor to be beautiful I said it's certain there is no fine thing since Adams fall but needs much laboring there have been lovers who thought love should be so much compounded of high courtesy that they would sigh and quote with learn it looks precedence out of beautiful old books yet now it seems an idle trade enough we sat groan quiet at the name of love we saw the last embers of daylight die and in the trembling blue/green of the sky a moon worn as if it had been a shell washed by times waters as they rose and fell about the Stars and broke in days and years I had a thought for no-one's but your ears that you were beautiful and that I strove to love you in the old highway of love that it had all seemed happy and yet we'd grown as weary hearted as that hollow moon a poem by William Butler Yeats from 1902 entitled Adams curse and that's the writers almanac for Thursday the 13th of June 2019 be well do good work and keep in touch you

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