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On this day in 1938 the writer, director and actor Orson Welles panicked the USA with his radio broadcast of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds about extraterrestrials landing on earth, which many people thought was real.
The publicity from the event made his name. He went on to make Citizen Kane in 1941, recognised as one of the greatest films ever made. Welles’ career never progressed much after Citizen Kane. The advent of television changed the entertainment industry – nobody wanted the egotistical, arrogant type of actor/director any more.
Welles always said that he suffered from being told at a young age that he was perfect. Today’s poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins is about perfection, The Habit of Perfection:
Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorlèd ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.
Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb:
It is the shut, the curfew sent
From there where all surrenders come
Which only makes you eloquent.
Be shellèd, eyes, with double dark
And find the uncreated light:
This ruck and reel which you remark
Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.
And, Poverty, be thou the bride
And now the marriage feast begun,
And lily-coloured clothes provide
Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.
Today I give thanks for the talents I possess and ask that I may never waste them.