Friday, March 29, 2019

Arlene Corwin writes


Oh George, you were so right:
“What a pity youth is wasted on the young”-
Their nights, their days a blight of
Vanities and phases strung
On strings assumed will never sunder.
Youth’s generation gets things wrong,
Believing life will never end,
The smooth, smooth skin will never bend
And all the birthday years a pleasure without measure.
George, you found out youth’s a fool
Ruled by their times, tools of fate and character;
Reckless, immature -
Which some discover late. Though clever,
Some few (find out) almost never.

The Fountain of Youth [detail] -- Maestro della Manta


  1. In a 14 February 1931 "Cook-Coos" newspaper column Ted Cook claimed that someone had asked Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw what the most beautiful thing in the world was, to which Shaw replied, "“Youth ... -- and what a pity that it has to be wasted on children!” A few weeks later Rian James, in the 8 March issue of "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle," claimed Shaw had remarked "that youth is a wonderful thing. It is a shame it has to be wasted on children." On 22 April columnist O. O. Mcintyre gave another version: "Youth is always wonderful. As George Bernard once exclaimed, it seems a shame to waste it on children." On May 10 journalist Irvin S. Cobb was profiled in a piece in which he "quoted with deep feeling a recent epigram from Bernard Shaw: 'The most precious thing in the world is youth. Too bad it is wasted on children.'" And in the 28 December issue of the "New York Times" it was claimed that the new Riverside Church pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick gave a sermon in which he too indirectly quoted Shaw as saying "it was a pity youth had to be wasted in childhood." There is no evidence that Shaw ever made the remark attributed to him, but throughout the year 1931 American newspapers continued to credit him with the sentiment. The Shavian aphorism continued to evolve until 1945 when novelist Ann Pinchot perfected it as "a pity youth is wasted on the young."

  2. The anonymous "master of Manta" painted a series of frescoes for the Salone Baronale in the Castello della Manta, about 50 km (31 mi) southwest of Torino ca. 1416-1424. They may have been commissioned by Valerano del Vasto, the bastard son of marchese Tommasso III di Saluzzo, who acted as regent for his 1/2 brother Ludovico. The various scenes illustrated episodes from Tomasso's long poem "Le Chevalier Errant," 1 of the most important chivalry texts. The aged and decrepit arrive from the left, rejuvenate themselves in the fountain in the center, and go a'hawking at the right.


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