Literary Birthdays: Week of December 21 – 27

December 21
Edward Hoagland (b. 1932) – U.S. essayist, travel and nature writer – “The Big Cats” Esquire April 1961

December 22
Eduard Uspensky (b.1937) – Russian children’s fiction – Uncle Fyodor, His Dog and His Cat

December 23
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (b. 1896) – Italian (Sicilian) novelist and essayist – Il Gatopardo (The Leopard)

December 24
Isador Feinstein Stone (b. 1907) – U.S. Journalist / liberal investigative political writer – In A Time Of Torment, 1961-1967

December 25
Rod Serling (b. 1924)  – U.S. television screenwriter – The Twilight Zone

December 26
Alejo Carpentier (b. 1904) – Cuban novelist / essayist – The Kingdom of This World

December 27
Mirza Ghalib (b. 1796) – Urdu-Persian poet

Ghazal: A sigh takes a lifetime …

A sigh takes a lifetime to show its results
To see your curls fixed up, who’d live long enough?
A hundred dragon mouths open in each ocean-wave’s net
To be a pearl, see what ordeals a droplet takes
Love asks for patience but desire takes no rest
What color shall I call my heart till it bleeds to death?
You won’t ignore me — I know that
— but when
The news reaches you, I’ll have turned to dust
Each dew drop knows death from the sun’s rays
I too will last only till you cast your glances at me
A single glance from you will bring my life to an end
As the warmth of the party fades with the last dance of sparks
Life is all suffering, Asad. Its cure is only death
The candle burns in many colors till the morning dawns

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