Wilhelm Busch, painter, early cartoonist, and most beloved of all German poets, was born April 15, 1832, in the village of Wiedensahl near Hannover in Lower Saxony, Germany. His greatest ambition was to emulate the Dutch and Flemish masters - Rubens, Hals, Brouwer, Ostade. Instead, he "stumbled into immortality", as the first German Federal President, Theodor Heuss, once put it, through a few caricatures he was asked to do for the satirical magazine "Fliegende Blaetter" that was founded in Munich in 1848. He soon started to add his own humorous verses, and his cartoons became longer and more elaborate; he can be regarded as the father of the modern comic strip, and wherever an Englishman would quote Lewis Carroll's "Alice", a German is likely to quote Busch. Although famous in his later years, he lived quite withdrawn and despised the fuss he thought was made about him. The "Hermit of Wiedensahl" died a confirmed bachelor on January 9, 1908, but his slapstick humour and his unforgettable characters live on forever.

Poet of the day

John Fuller is an English poet and author, and Fellow Emeritus at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Fuller was born in Ashford, Kent, England, the son of poet and Oxford Professor Roy Fuller, and educated at St Paul's School and New College, Oxford. He began teaching in 1962 at the State University...
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Poem of the day


One Joseph 'Rudy' Julian,
A World War Two Marine,
Was killed on Iwo Jima in a
A most heroic scene.

On Iwo Jima, forty-five,
Where three Marine Divisions fought,
The enemy vowed kill ten of us
Before each being caught.

The nineteenth day of...
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