Today I learned about the Chinese poem "Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den," or "ShΔ« shΓ¬ shΓ­ shΔ« shǐ." The poem is solely composed of "shi" 92 times, but pronounced with different tones. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lio…
A small percentage of the population can read during their dreams, and they tend to be writers, especially poets. inverse.com/article/38510…
The best-selling English translations of Rumi, the famous 13th Century Persian poet, were done by a woefully underqualified man who doesn't know Persian; never studied Islam or Sufism; took extreme liberties with the original texts; and omitted much of the Islamic references and context newyorker.com/books/page-…
Gil Scott-Heron's song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" was a response to the spoken-word piece "When the Revolution Comes" by The Last Poets and which opens with the line "When the revolution comes some of us will probably catch it on TV". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Today I learned about Abram Petrovich Gannibal, an African child kidnapped to Russia as a gift for Peter the Great. The tsar freed him and raised him as his godson. Gannibal became a Major-General and the Governor of Reval. He is the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, considered the greatest Russian poet. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abr…
CIA actively promoted the great Russian poet and writer Boris Pasternak's masterclass novel Doctor Zhivago by purchasing/distributing copies and publishing a Russian version. This led to Pasternak winning the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature, but was forced by the government to decline it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc…
Children's poet Shel Silverstein wrote many outlaw country songs, such as A Boy Named Sue. spectrumculture.com/2019/…
After poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti's wife died, he buried the bulk of his unpublished poems with her in a fit of grief. However, he later changed his mind, had her dug up, and published the poems. poetryfoundation.org/poet…
The term "strafing" is a humorous adaptation of the German WW1 catchphrase "Gott strafe England" (may god punish England). The catchphrase derives from a hate song written by a jewish-german poet. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Str…
In the 1920s, Jordanian poet Mustafa Wahbi Tal was once arrested for displaying Bolshevik symbols, , becoming inebriated in a public bar and publicly reciting a poem that insulted the Emir, the Prime Minister, and the law en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus…
Children's poet Shel Silverstein had a daughter who died of cerebral aneurysm at 11 years old. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She…
In 1944, Lucien Carr, a member of the group that would become known as the Beat Poets, stabbed his former Boy Scout leader to death after being stalked by him for years. Several soon-to-be well-known writers helped Carr cover up the crime, including William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luc…
German actress Marlene Dietrich was bisexual, and had a romantic involvement with poet Mercedes de Acosta. liveabout.com/marlene-die…
Before Bob Dylan's win in 2016, Rabindranath Tagore was the first lyricist to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. He was a wildly talented Indian poet, painter, and musician. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rab…
Today I learned of Enheduanna, a woman who is the earliest known poet and author in history from the 23rd century BC, who was appointed high priestess of the city of Ur by her father Sargon the Great of Akkad who was himself the earliest known emperor in human history. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enh…
Harukichi Shimoi, who was a japanese poet that during WW1 enlisted in the Italian Army and ranked up to the special elite force "Arditi" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Har…
A 1950s and 60s Greenwich Village street poet named Big Brown had an enormous influence on Kerouac and the Beats, Bob Dylan, and proto-Hip Hop with Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite) and The Last Poets. Dylan referred to his poems as "the best poetry I ever heard". youtube.com/playlist?list…
To avoid the censure of his father, a railroad worker who disapproved of poets, the teenage writer NeftalΓ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto wrote and published poetry under a pseudonym: Pablo Neruda. He would later legally adopt the name and go on to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. encyclopedia.com/people/l…
The first person in history whose name we know is 'Kushim', who was not a King, poet or a warrior, but an accountant. He signed a receipt which said "29,086 measures barley 37 months Kushim", which was found on a clay tablet in Mesopotamia. nationalgeographic.com/sc…
George Orwell was homophobic, and often included anti-gay slurs in his writings. He also expressed contempt for gay/bisexual leftists and intellectuals at the time, calling them the "pansy Left", and "nancy poets". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo…
On 1642, Sir John Denham asked Charles I to spare Sir William Waller from execution, saying that "while Wither lives, Denham will not be the worst poet in England." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sto…
Spanish surrealist playwright and poet GarcΓ­a LorcΓ‘ was great friends with surrealist painter Salvador DalΓ­, until DalΓ­ rejected his romantic advances. Later on during the revolution, LorcΓ‘ was assassinated due to his socialist beliefs and homosexuality. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fed…
Today I learned of Usama ibn Munqidh, a Syrian poet and diplomat whose life coincided with the First and Second Crusades, and who became acquainted with leaders of the Crusader states, the Knights Templar even clearing their HQ chapel for him to pray towards Mecca. history.com/news/why-musl…
Famous mid-20th century counterculture poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is still alive at 100 years old poetryfoundation.org/poet…
The source of the 'having a rib removed to perform self-fellatio' myth was Gabriele D'Annunzio, one of Italy's most prestigious poets, a world-famous seducer, and the creator of fascism as well as the Roman Salute β€” later known as the Nazi Salute. theguardian.com/books/201…
I learned that the Romantic poets liked to make fun of one another and Lord Byron referred to William Wordsworth as "Turdsworth". lithub.com/lord-byron-use…
In 1531 the Portuguese poet Gil Vicente averted a massacre of Jews. He personally wrote to the king scolding fear-mongers for targeting Jews in the aftermath of an earthquake. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/153…
The Rescuers was originally going to be about rescuing a poet imprisoned by a totalitarian government, staying in line with the original The Rescuers book plot. However, Walt Disney didn't like the political overtones of such a plot. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
The poet who coined the phrases, β€œVariety’s the very spice of life” and β€œGod moves in a mysterious way” was institutionalized for insanity, depression, and suicide attempts, but was also a forerunner of the Abolitionist movement. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…
Daniel Day-Lewis’ father was the Poet Laureate of the UK britannica.com/biography/…
Caffeine was discovered because the world-famous German poet "Johann Wolfgang von Goethe" suggested distilling the beans. He thought that might reverse the pupil-widening effect of Atropine which can also be obtained by distillation. io9.gizmodo.com/how-the-m…
Today I learned of IkkyΕ« Sōjun, a Zen Masters and poet who was known for his eccentric lifestyle. He would visit brothels and drink alcohol, which were considered heretical acts. In folklore, one of his greatest pupils was a prostitute, and he preached all humans were equalm for they're all skeletons underneath en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikk…
Today I learned about Gabriele D'Annunzio. An Italian poet regarded as one of the best writers since Dante Alighieri, WWI hero, notorious ladies man with 1000+ body count, dictator, and inspiration for fascist such as Hitler, Mussolini, & Stalin. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gab…
The term lesbian comes from the Greek poet Sappho, who was born on the island of Lesbos. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sap…
Dante Alighieri, poet and author of the Divine Comedy, was condemned to exile from Florence, Italy in 1302. His sentence was rescinded in 2008. wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante_…
Ghanaian poet and author Kofi Awoonor whose work focused on the poetic traditions of his native Ewe people was killed in the 2013 attack at Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. Awoonor was Ghana's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, where he headed the committee against apartheid en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kof…
The Girls of Llanbadarn" is a short, wryly humorous poem by the 14th-cent Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym. He curses the women of his parish, complains that he has never had any luck with any of them. He wonders what is lacking in him or in them that none of them will agree to meet him in the woods. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
GΓΆtz von Berlichingen, a warrior poet, lost his right arm by cannon fire in 1504. He had a mechanical arm invented so that he could still hold a sword and fought in numerous battles, led rebel armies, was attributed with coining the phrase "he can kiss my ass" and died at 82 of old age. militaryhistorynow.com/20…
Our term for syphilis comes from a 16th-century epic poem, "Syphilis," by the Italian poet Girolamo Fracastoro, about a shepherd boy named Syphilis who insults the Greek god Apollo and is punished with a horrible disease. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gir…
The English poet Lord Byron was notorious for his robust sex life. He had raging cases of gonorrhea and syphilis by age 21, was rumored to have had a lengthy affair with his half-sister Augusta, and slept with at least 200 women (and a few men) during a three year period in Venice. spectator.co.uk/2018/03/n…
The Christmas carol "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is about the American Civil War, and the author is famed poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_H…
The world's earliest reccognized modern novel (The Tale of Genji) was written by Murasaki Shikibu, a poet and noblewoman serving the Japanese Imperial court en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mur…
Today I learned of Hannah Senesh, a Jewish paratrooper and poet during the Holocaust. She was captured, tortured, and eventually executed, but never gave up her comrades. "I could have been twenty-three next July; I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost." jewishvirtuallibrary.org/…
The actor who plays the headmaster in Dead Poets Society, Norman LLoyd, is still very much alive. At the ripe age of 104, his latest screen credit was an appearance in the 2015 comedy Trainwreck. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor…
The first recorded poet, Robert Browning, was midway through his selected poem before forgetting his verse. youtube.com/watch?v=OYot5…
The hat worn by Indiana Jones was bought from 'Herbert Johnson' in London. The store still exists today and sells the exact same hat, now called the 'Raiders Rabbit Poet' for Β£365 ($460) nothingbutnostalgia.com/r…
Roman poet Catullus' Carmen 16 was censored until the 20th century for beginning with the line Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo ("I will sodomize you and face-fuck you"). io9.gizmodo.com/a-latin-p…
Today I learned about Richard Francis Burton, a British "explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat." He spoke 29 languages, translated the Kama Sutra, and shocked Victorian England with his essays about homosexuality. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric…
Today I learned about GΓΆtz von Berlichingen (1480-1562), a German mercenary knight and poet whose right arm was severed by a cannonball in 1504. It was replaced with an iron prosthetic, later upgraded so that von Berlichingen could wield a quill as well as a sword. He was an active soldier for another 40 years. badassoftheweek.com/index…
English Victorian artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti was so heartbroken at the death of his wife he buried her with his unpublished poems. Seven years later his agent gently encouraged Rossetti to exhume her body and the poems - which he did. nonfictioness.com/2018/04…
English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley published a book about his travels with Mary Shelley to Γ‰vian-les-Bains, France, saying: "The appearance of the inhabitants is more wretched, diseased and poor, than I ever recollect to have seen." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3…
The Danish scientist, poet, and resistance man Piet Hein got his first short poem published in a nationwide newspaper in Nazi-occupied Denmark because the Nazi censors didn't catch its anti-nazi/pro-resistance message en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie…
One-legged English poet W.E Henley was the inspiration for Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, and his daughter was the inspiration for Wendy in JM Barrie's Peter Pan. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…
Today I learned about Jacob M. Appel, an author, poet, bioethicist, physician and lawyer. He has a Bachelor’s degree, 7 master’s degrees, an MD from Columbia and a JD from Harvard and various other achievements. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jac…
Lord Byron's daughter Ada Lovelace was a co-inventor of the first computer and is believed to be the first programmer. Her mother introduced her to mathematics so she wouldn't turn out like her poet father. findingada.com/shop/a-pas…
The epic poem Paradise Lost was written entirely through dictation. The poet, John Milton, had gone totally blind just prior to writing the poem and thus had to recite it to friends and family in order to get it written down. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Par…
Teacher and poet Alcira Soust remained hidden in a bathroom of the National Autonomous University of Mexico for 15 days during an occupation by the Mexican Army in 1968. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alc…
The first President of Senegal was also a renowned poet. He wrote a poem called Dear White Brother, musing about why white people call black people "colored," when there is a huge range of observable colors on white people's skin ovws.org/applecore/2019/1…
The Russian revolution and Soviet ambitions created new baby-names like Radiy (Radium), Barrikad (Barricade), Radner ('Hail to the new Era'), Elmira (Electrification of the world), Revmir (World Revolution). A Soviet poet was named Remo for "Revolution Electricity World's October" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nam…
The first computer programmer is considered to be Ada Lovelace, a female mathematician who was the daughter of the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada…
One of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages is known only as the Archpoet. Despite his fame, his name is unknown, and the only things known about him are what he mentioned in his poems. It's not even certain where his nickname Archpoet comes from. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc…
German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine once wrote in a play from 1821, "Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings." Over a century later, copies of Heine's books were among the many burned in Berlin's Opernplatz. bookbrowse.com/quotes/det…
A 1st century AD Greek poet Dio Chrysostom publicly debunked Homer’s story of the Trojan war through analysis of improbabilities and contradictions in Homer’s own text, the Iliad. Dio insisted that Helen was rightfully married to Paris, Hector killed Achilles, and Troy actually won the war. cambridge.org/core/books/…
Ada Lovelace, daughter of poet Lord Byron, is regarded as the first computer programmer. She wrote an algorithm for Charles Babagge's theroetical Analytical Engine in 1842, over 100 years before the development of the first computer. mentalfloss.com/article/5…
The term "lesbian" does originate from the Greek island Lesbos, because that was the home of Sappho, a 6th century BCE poet whose work focused on the beauty of women and proclaimed her love for girls. The term "sapphic" also originates from her name. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les…
Saddam Hussein was a novelist and a poet. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sad…
T.S. Eliot used to wear green makeup (face powder) and lipstick as a way to assert himself as a poet and not a just a banker questia.com/library/journ…
In Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the worst poet in the universe, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex actually referred to Paul Neil Milne Johnstone. enacademic.com/dic.nsf/en…
Robert Frost was the first poet to read at a presidential inauguration when JFK asked him to recite a poem at his in 1961. Frost wrote a new poem for the occasion, but was incapable of reading it because of how bright it was outside. So, he recited "The Gift Outright" from memory instead. poets.org/text/poetry-and…
Today I learned about Ern Malley, a fake poet two Australians made up in the 1940s, in order to mock the Avant Garde poetry. abc.net.au/archives/80day…
Today I learned of Pietro Arentino, a 15th century italian author, playwright, poet, satirist, blackmailer, and a developer of modern literary pornography. He was openly attracted to men, having declared himself "a sodomite" since birth, and supposedly died fom laughter en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie…
The concept of the "rap battle" has existed since the 5th century, where poets would engage in "flyting," a spoken word event where poets would insult one another in verse. The Norse god Loki is noted as having insulted other gods in verse. en.wikipedia.org/w/index.…
Greek poet Hipponax was so good at insulting people that some of them killed themselves en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip…
The name of the Harry Potter character, Professor McGonagall was a nod to the poet William McGonagall, often said to be the worst poet in British history. interestingliterature.com…
The poets Wordsworth and Byron had poor punctuation skills and had to ask others to correct the punctuation of their poems theguardian.com/books/boo…
Johnny Cash's song "A Boy Named Sue" was actually written by Shel Silverstein (author/poet of children's books "The Giving Tree"; "Where the Sidewalk Ends"; and "A Light in the Attic") en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_B…
Transcendentalist scholar and poet Jones Very claimed he was the second coming of Jesus, and that his verse was written under the influence of the holy spirit. When Ralph Waldo Emerson read his work, he noted the poor writing and asked, "cannot the spirit parse & spell?" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon…
At the age of 16 future poet laureate Maya Angelou became the first female African American streetcar conductor in San Francisco history. streetcar.org/tag/maya-an…
There is a poem written in Classical Chinese composed of 92 characters in which every syllable has the sound "shi" when read in modern Mandarin Chinese, with only the tones differing. It begins: "In a stone den was a poet called Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten lions." youtube.com/watch?v=vExjn…
In 1955 Ford Motor Co. asked poet Marianne Moore for name ideas for a car brand. Her ideas included Thunderblender, Intelligent Blender, The Intelligent Whale and Utopian Turtletop. FoMoCo ignored all her suggestions and went with Edsel. poetryfoundation.org/harr…
The famed poet Lord Byron was disabled. He was born with a clubbed foot, and walked with a halting gait. Byron went to great lengths to hide and overcompensate for his disability, and poured himself into his poetry, using it as an emotional outlet. hands-free.co.uk/deformed…
The term "Lesbian" stems from the Ancient Greek poet Sappho of Lesbos who lived from 620-570 BCE. Her poetry portrays homoerotic feelings and she wrote over 10,000 lines of poetry. However, even though her works were widely known only 650 lines survive today. ancient.eu/Sappho_of_Lesb…
To show how Classical Chinese had become an impractical language, linguist Chao Yuen Ren wrote a 92-character poem in which every syllable has the sound "shi". The poem "ShΔ« ShΓ¬ shΓ­ shΔ« shǐ" translates to "Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lio…
The Star Spangled Banner borrowed its tune from β€œTo Anacreon in Heaven”, a British drinking song hailing the praises of an Ancient Greek poet famous for loving wine and writing erotic poetry. questseans.com/yesterwier…
A Russian poet named Sergei Yesenin wrote his final poem "Goodbye, My Friend, Goodbye" with his own blood and subsequently committed suicide by hanging en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ser…
The influential American poet Walt Whitman's collection of poetry,"Leaves of Grass", was so controversial when first published in 1855 for its reference to open sexuality & homosexuality, that a major literary weekly publication recommended in its review that Whitman kill himself. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lea…
The Greek poet Hipponax was so good at insulting people that his victims sometimes killed themselves. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip…
The dog name Spot dates to at least the year 8 AD, appearing in a list of hunting dogs in Metamorphoses by Roman poet Ovid. unrv.com/culture/names-fo…
The great French scientist Sadi Carnot was named after the Persian poet Sadi of Shiraz. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nic…
Today I learned of surrealist poet Robert Desnos who started reading palms of fellow prisoners on their way to the Nazi gas chambers. His excitement was so contagious as he predicted longevity, more children, and abundant joy that the guards were unable to go through with the executions. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
Poet Carl Sandburg, when attempting to visit a high school in Illinois that was named after him, was mistaken for a hobo and ordered to leave the premises. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car…
The Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den in a short story in Chinese in which every word is pronounced "shi". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lio…
There was a group of poets who were so passionate about electricity pylons that they wrote odes to them, and a rival group who were equally passionately opposed blog.scienceandindustrymu…
Ada Lovelace, the only legitimate daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron, is widely considered to be the very first "computer programmer" based on her notes for an "Analytical Engine" written more than 150 years ago cs.yale.edu/homes/tap/Fil…
If you die in Amsterdam without any friends or family left to attend your funeral, a poet will write a poem for you and recite it at your funeral. bbc.co.uk/worldservice/do…
Moondog (a legendary blind jazz musician, composer and poet) used to stand on NYC street corners all day wearing a viking cloak & hat en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moo…
In 1914 Emmeline Pankhurst’s suffragettes attempted to blow up Robert Burns’s cottage (Scotland’s national poet) only to be stopped by the night watchman. digital.nls.uk/scotlandsp…
From 1919 to 1920 the city of Fiume in Croatia was taken over by the Italian poet Gabrielle D'Annunzio, who proclaimed it a corporatist state based on the fundamental principle of "music". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ita…

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