May 21-23, 2018 - Arthur Conan Doyle, Other Writers’ & Poets’ Birthdays
|Nicholas E. Barron||May 21, 2018|
Welcome to the May 21-23, 2018 edition of Bidwell Hollow. It's great to be back. I appreciate your condolences and patience during my break. Birthdays in this edition include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Maria Semple, Robert Creeley, and Jane Kenyon. Our poem for today is by Roger W. Pelizzari. It's titled, "The Beginning of Real Time." You, too, could have your poetry featured on Bidwell Hollow. Just visit BidwellHollow.com/submit-a-poem.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Tomorrow is the birthday of a writer who introduced one of literature's most famous characters in a magazine.
The story, "A Study in Scarlet," was published in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887. It centered on a detective named Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson. The story's author was Arthur Conan Doyle (affiliate link).
Doyle was born May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1885.
One of Doyle's medical school professors, Dr. Joseph Bell, noted every detail of a patient's condition when making a diagnosis. Bell's abilities inspired Doyle to create the fictional Holmes.
Though "A Study in Scarlet" didn't garner Doyle and his character, Holmes, much attention, the writer's later books did. Works such as "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Hound of Baskervilles" thrilled readers and made Holmes a household name still today.
Doyle, who started writing stories about Holmes to augment his income as a doctor, tired of writing the detective's stories. He attempted to kill the character off in the book, "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes." But the public demanded more Holmes stories, and Doyle complied.
The final Holmes book published in 1927, three years before Doyle's death.
Maria Semple's (affiliate link) writing career started in TV. She wrote for shows such as "Saturday Night Live" and "Mad About You." It's for the latter program that she received a Primetime Emmy nomination in 1997.
Semple published her first novel, "This One Is Mine," in 2008. It didn't sell well. But her next book did.
"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" came out in 2012. It became an international bestseller.
Semple wrote the screenplay for a movie version of "Where'd You Go, Bernadette." It's scheduled for release in October.
Semple's third novel, "Today Will Be Different," was published in 2016.
Semple was born on this date in 1964 in Santa Monica, CA.
Robert Creeley (affiliate link) earned his B.A. from Black Mountain College in 1954. He then became a faculty member at the school.
Creeley worked alongside poet Charles Olson, who in 1950 published an influential essay on poetry titled, "Projective Verse." The essay helped guide a group that became known as the Black Mountain Poets.
Among the Black Mountain Poets was Creeley. Some of his first poetry was published in Black Mountain Review, a literary magazine that he edited for a few years.
In his lifetime, Creeley published many volumes of poetry. And he continued teaching poetry, with stints at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Brown University.
Creeley, born on this date in 1926 in Arlington, MA, won The Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1999.
Jane Kenyon (affiliate link) was born May 23, 1947, in Ann Arbor, MI. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.
There one of her professors was the poet Donald Hall. The two fell in love and married in 1972.
Three years later, Kenyon and Hall moved to a white farmhouse at Eagle Pond Farm in New Hampshire. That's where Kenyon wrote poetry.
"Jane was a talented kid with some good stuff," Hall said. "Then we moved here, and she became a poet."
Kenyon published four volumes of poetry. She became New Hampshire's poet laureate in 1995.
But that same year Kenyon died of leukemia.
When an interviewer visited Hall at Eagle Pond Farm in 2006, she found Kenyon's office as it was when the poet passed away.
"There is even a full basket of wood waiting to burn in her little wood stove," the interviewer noted.
"The Beginning of Real Time"
somewhere along the edge of March,
I woke to a moment so still,
I heard the ice cracking
on the frozen waters of the world.
Rising from the valley
between night and day,
I opened my eyes and saw my watch
sleeping on the table,
stopped at midnight.
It was a signal for the beginning
of real time.
Here and now the world is new,
we see by the light of the sun
that shines in the middle of the head,
while invisible winds
blow everything false away.
Who will miss the shadows of our old lives?
This is how we enter the future,
through the door of the present.
This is where we find the place
we have longed for,
where no one needs to ask,
“Where am I? Which way should I go?"
We are made of green earth and gold fire.
The blue sea flows through us,
and the sweet, silver air.
The stars flash from the mind
to the sky,
and grow brighter as we look.
Soon, we will not even remember
the time when we were asleep,
dreaming that this would happen.
- "The Beginning of Real Time". Copyright 2007 by Roger W. Pelizzari. Used with permission of the author.