In the Netherlands, if you die and have no next of kin, friends or family to attend your funeral, they will send a poet who shall read a custom poem for you at your funeral so that you won’t be alone that day. It was started by poet and artist F Staril and is named "The Lonely Funeral" project. arcpublications.co.uk/boo…
Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Wallace Stevens spent his life as an insurance exec and did poetry on the side. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wal…
The English word "zombie" was first recorded in 1819, in a history of Brazil by the poet Robert Southey, in the form of "zombi". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zom…
When Turkey (Ottomans) and Iran (Safavids) became archrivals in early 16th century, their leaders were both poets. While the Turkish Sultan Selim wrote his poetry in Persian, the Iranian Shah Ismail wrote his poetry in Turkish. turkishstudies.net/turkis…
Before Maya Angelou gained fame as an author and a poet, she sang, danced, and composed lyrics as "Miss Calypso", recording a self-titled album in 1957, and sang and starred in Columbia Picture’s β€œCalypso Heat Wave" that year. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May…
The 1999 film "The Iron Giant" is based on a 1968 science fiction novel by poet Ted Hughes, written to comfort his children after the suicide of their mother, fellow poet and his wife Sylvia Plath. theguardian.com/culture/1…
Robert Frost, an influential poet who won 4 Pulitzer Prizes in Poetry and many more, was the first poet to read at a presidential inauguration. He read at John F Kennedy's inauguration on January 20, 1961 at the age of 86. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
The great Renaissance artist Michelangelo was also a poet. A great number of his poems were written to another man, Tommaso dei Cavalieri. After his death, his grand-nephew published his poems... and changed the pronouns of the person addressed from masculine to feminine. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mic…
Barbro Karlen, a successful Polish Poet, Believed she was the Reincarnation of Anne Frank and she had been having dreams and claimed to have told her Parents her name was Anne Frank while she was 2 and had no prior knowledge of her. exemplore.com/paranormal/…
Today I learned of Juana InΓ©s, a 17th century mexican nun, a feminist poet and an autodidact in an age were women were not allowed to study. She learned to read and write Latin by the age of 3, could do accounts by 5, wrote her first poem at 8, and at 13 she was teaching greek and was writing poems in Nahuatl en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jua…
The poet Charles de Gaulle, uncle of the general/politician of the same name, was fluent in Breton, Welsh, and Gaelic. Additonally de Gaulle wrote extensive poetry in the languages, but never visited a Celtic-speaking country, as his poor health confined him to his apartment in Paris. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
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…
Today I learned of the Chinese Poet, Li Bai. Considered the greatest poet in Chinese literature, a good chunk of his poems are dedicated to alcohol and drunkeness due to his rampant alcoholism. Legend has that he drowned after drunkenly trying to embrace the moon's reflection upon the river during a ferry-ride en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_…
The footwear company ASICS is an acronym for the Roman poet Juvenal's quote: "anima sana in corpore sano" (a sound mind in a sound body). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juv…
Ursula K. Le Guin was a famous science fiction writer and poet. Her father was A. L. Kroeber, a cultural anthropologist, who studied Native Americans in California. One of his most recognized works involved a man that he had named Ishi, the last surviving member of the Yahi people. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._…
Both South Korea and the Maldives once used the tune of Scottish song "Auld Lang Syne" for their anthems. South Korea inherited it from Scottish missionaries. The poet behind the Maldives' anthem, for his part, chose the music after hearing it chiming out of an uncle's novelty clock bbc.com/news/magazine-340…
Today I learned of the Great Vowel Shift, a period of time between 1400-1600 where the pronunciation of many English words changed. This explains why poets like Chaucer were able to rhyme words like food, good and blood. sites.fas.harvard.edu/~ch…
Today I learned about Egill SkallagrΓ­msson, a Viking age poet, warrior, and farmer. He is the protagonist of β€œEgil’s Saga” and is thought to have suffered from Paget’s disease. This can cause bone deformation , which is storied to survive ax heads, even in death. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egi…
Su Hui, a 4th-century female Chinese poet, wrote a massive poem called "Star Gauge" in a 29 x 29 character grid that can be read to form ~3,000 smaller poems en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su_…
The author of Mexico's national anthem, refused to submit an entry for the nationally held anthem writing contest. Unsatisfied, his fiance lured/locked him in a room w/ images depicting key events and battles of Mexico's history. The poet produced an entry that won his freedom and the contest. frontera.library.ucla.edu…
Today I learned of William Cowper - A British Poet, who was plagued by recurring mental instability and religious doubt all throughout his life. He was extremely popular in Colonial America among early anti-slavery supporters. He has been called one of the best modern poets. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…
A small percentage of the population can read during their dreams, and they tend to be writers, especially poets. inverse.com/article/38510…
Lenin was a mushroom. Musician Sergey Kuryokhin created a joking TV pseudo-documentary in 1991. The idea came to Sergey after watching TV documentary about a poet Sergei Yesenin, that tried to convince viewers Yesenin was assasinated. Kuryokhin said: "Any nonsense can be proven this way" youtube.com/watch?v=h2cs8…
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…
John Mercer Langston became the first African American lawyer in the United States when he passed the bar in 1854. He’s also the great-uncle of famed Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh…
The Star Spangled Banner is a rendition of a musical called β€œAnacreon In Heaven” that was written in 1778 by a British man named John Stafford Smith about a Greek poet, Anacreon, known for his writings of praise and love of wine. The melody became the U.S. national anthem 153 years later. nationalgeographic.com/cu…
Children's poet Shel Silverstein wrote many outlaw country songs, such as A Boy Named Sue. spectrumculture.com/2019/…
Today I learned about Ern Malley, a fictitious Australian poet created to ridicule modernist poetry. A modernist journal devoted an issue to his poems and the editor was sued for immoral material. A policeman said "I don't know what 'incestuous' means, but I think there is a suggestion of indecency about it." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ern…
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…
Today I learned of the 1918 Flight over Vienna: Where the Italian nationalist and poet Gabriele D'Annunzio spent almost a year planning and made three attempts to fly 1,200 km roundtrip and airdrop 50,000 propaganda leaflets over the city - Leaflets that he never bothered to translate from Italian. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fli…
Today I learned about the poet Rev Robert Stephen Hawker who dressed up as a mermaid to scare the people of Bude strangehistory.net/2011/0…
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…
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-…
All of the characters in a Chinese poem called the "Lion-eating Poet in the Stone Den" is pronounced "Shi" but with different tones en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lio…
Today I learned of Enheduanna who is the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded. She was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna. She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur. encyclopedia.com/religion…
In 2010, 4 Chinese and Kyrgyzstani cities competed to become the hometown of the renowned poet Li Bai. Kyrgyzstan's Cultural Information Ministry told Chinese media that Li Bai was born in the city of Suyab, which is now Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan cctv.com/english/special/…
Children's poet Shel Silverstein had a daughter who died of cerebral aneurysm at 11 years old. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She…
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…
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…
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 poet Lord Byron had an Eating Disorder and was severely anorexic independent.co.uk/news/by…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…

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