Wednesday, 29 January 2014


“Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.” - Robert Frost
January 29 is for Roman Catholics St Francis de Sales’ Feast Day, while the Greek Orthodox faith celebrates the Removal of the Relics of Ignatius the God-bearer (Ignatius of Antioch).
It is the anniversary of the birth of:
Daniel Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (1700);
Thomas Paine, writer (1737);
William McKinley, 25th president (1897-1901) of the USA (1843);
Anton Chekhov, writer (1860);
Frederick Delius, English composer (1862);
Romain Rolland, French writer (1866);
Vicente Blasco Ibàñez, Spanish novelist (1867);
W. C. Fields (William Claude Dukinfield), comedian (1879);
Ernst Lubitsch, film-maker (1892);
Victor Mature, US actor (1915);
Paddy (Sidney) Chayevsky, writer (1923);
Abdus Salam, Pakistani physicist (1926);
Leslie Bricuse, composer (1931);
Sacha Distel, French singer/songwriter (1933);
Germaine Greer, feminist (1939);
Katherine Ross, actress (1943);
Tom Selleck, actor (1945);
Greg E. Louganis, diver, Olympic medal winner (1960);
Athena Onassis, Greek heiress (1985).
Begonia, Begonia semperflorens, is the birthday flower for today.  The genus is named in honour of the 17th century Governor of French Canada, Michel Bégon.  Semperflorens means that it is ever flowering, a good description for these freely blooming perennials originally from Brazil.  The plant symbolises dark thoughts.
Francis de Sales (21 August 1567 – 28 December 1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honoured as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.
Ignatius of Antioch (Ancient Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, also known as Theophorus from Greek Θεοφόρος “God-bearer”) was born about 42 AD and died about 105 AD) was among the Apostolic Fathers. He was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to Rome, where according to Christian tradition he met his martyrdom by being fed to wild beasts, he wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.
Frederick Delius (1862–1934) was an English composer of German parentage. He was influenced by Grieg and combined romanticism and impressionism in music characterized by a loose structure and richness in chromatic harmony. His best-known works include “Brigg Fair” (1907), “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” (1912), and “North Country Sketches” (1914). His operas include “A Village Romeo and Juliet” (1907). Here is "A Song of Summer":

On this day, the following notables died:
In 1119, Gelasius II (John of Gaeta), Pope of Rome.  George III, king of England in 1820 in London on this day. At that time he was the longest reigning (59 years) and longest lived (81 years) English monarch. Edward Lear, British poet and illustrator in 1888. Alfred Sisley, French artist in 1899. H.L. Mencken, US man of letters in 1956. Fritz Kreisler, the Austrian violinist in 1962. Robert Frost, US poet in 1963. Jimmy Durante US actor in 1980.

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