April 5

Amalia Guglielminetti

Amalia Guglielminetti (born April 5, 1885) Italian poet, playwright, novelist – Le Vergini Folli / Mad Virgins (1907)

Read more about Amalia Guglielminetti here and here

Read some of Amalia Guglielminetti's poetry (in Italian) here

Listen to Francesco Gambaro read Guglielminetti's poem "La Poetessa"
 "La Poetessa"

Ella va sola
nei molti canti
amari ed allegri…
Non è Ada Negri
né Annie Vivanti.

Ma quando una carola
d’amore intreccia
ella scivola, sfreccia
rapida e civettuola…
E non va sola!

Pure originalmente
nell’Olimpo s’accampa
per la sua vampa
dolcistruggente…

Non è Gaspara Stampa,
Veronica Gambara,
né la Contessa Lara.

Ella va sola,
certo non vibra
però se il canto libra
fuor dell’umana scorza,
talvolta vola;

prende a cantar con forza
ma poi si smorza,
la cetra sua si scheggia
e il suono ondeggia
tra un bacio ed uno schiaffo.

No, non è Saffo!
Ma aggiungi un’emme
al nome di battesimo
ed ecco l’incantesimo
delle sue gemme,
o moderna Castalda
in diciottesimo:

Guglielminetti? Ammalia!


 Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington (born April 5, 1856) U.S. educator, author – Up From Slavery (1901)

Read the Wikipedia article about Booker T. Washington

Read Booker T. Washington's commemorative address for Abraham Lincoln here

An excerpt of Booker T. Washington's 1899 speech
commemorating Abraham Lincoln:

IN COMMEMORATION OF THE BIRTH OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN *

* This address was not delivered at the Lincoln Dinner, given by members of the Union League Club on February 12, 1899, owing to the detention of Mr. Washington between New York and Philadelphia in a snow-bound train. It was, however, made two evenings afterward at a public reception extended to Mr. Washington by Mr. Henry C. Davis at his residence, 902 Spruce Street, Philadelphia.

Gentlemen : You ask one whom the Great Emancipator found a piece of property and left an American citizen to speak of Abraham Lincoln.

My first acquaintance with our hero and benefactor is this : Night after night, before the dawn of day, on an old slave plantation in Virginia, I recall the form of my sainted mother, bending over a batch of rags that enveloped my body, on a dirt floor, breathing a fervent prayer to Heaven that ”Marsa Lincoln” might succeed, and that one day she and I might be free ; and so, on your invitation, I come here to-night to celebrate with you the answer to those prayers.

But be it far from me to revive the bitter memories of the past, nor would I narrow the work of Abraham Lincoln to the black race of this country ; rather would I call him the Emancipator of America — the liberator of the white man North, of the white man South; the one who, in unshackling the chains of the Negro, has turned loose the enslaved forces of nature in the South, and has knit all sections of our country together by the indissoluble bonds of commerce.

To the man in the North who cherished hatred against the South, Lincoln brought freedom. To the white man who landed at Jamestown years ago, with hopes as bright and prospects as cheering as those who stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock, Lincoln, for the first time, gave an opportunity to breathe the air of unfettered freedom — a freedom from dependence on others’ labor to the independence of self-labor ; freedom to transform unused and dwarfed hands into skilled and productive hands ; to change labor from drudgery into that which is dignified and glorified ; to change local commerce into trade with the world ; to change the Negro from an ignorant man into an intelligent man ; to change sympathies that were local and narrow into love and good-will for all mankind ; freedom to change stagnation into growth, weakness into power; yea, to us all, your race and mine, Lincoln has been a great emancipator.


Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee (born April 5, 1968) U.K. comedian

Read the Wikipedia article about Stewart Lee

Read Stewart Lee's ironic OpEd on the Coronavirus situation
(April 2020)

Such self-doubt is common in isolation. We lie awake in the unexpected silence, brains engorged with particle-free air, our wet hearts pumping in our dry midnight mouths. Do I placate the children with quasi-religious platitudes or tell them the disordered cosmos is without meaning? To this end, I have unearthed the board game Eldritch Horror, based on the works of the racist fantasy author HP Lovecraft. Players attempt to save the world from the malignant cosmic entities who created the universe, but nonetheless mean us only harm. My seven-year-old loves it and has taken to doodling images of multi-tentacled space-octopi strangling her immediate family to death. Everything is fine. There is nothing to see here.

Stewart Lee on Brexit
 here