On this day in 1925 the first issue of the New Yorker magazine appeared. All articles are to a very high standard and facts are carefully checked (it employed 16 fact checkers). Most of the great names have contributed over the years – Salinger, Fitzgerald, Updike, Thurber, and Murakami are a few. It has not shrunk from controversy; the biggest ever response from readers was to the 1949 story The Lottery, a sinister tale of a fictional Midwest village where an annual rite of a ‘lottery’ chose the person to be stoned to death, so as to ensure a good harvest.
Of the thousands who wrote in, many seemed to want to know where they could watch the event. The Magazine is also famous for its cartoons.
Here is a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, whose work was featured in the New Yorker in 1939, with illustrations by cartoonist James Thurber, Summer Night:
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.
Today I give thanks for the beauty of poetry and those who bring it to our attention.