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Brain Pickings has a totally free Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and articles that are inspiring art

Sunday newsletter

Brain Pickings has a totally free Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, as well as other strands of your search for truth, beauty, and meaning. Here’s a good example. Like? Claim yours:

midweek newsletter

Also: Because Brain Pickings is in its twelfth year and I have decided to plunge into my vast archive every Wednesday and choose from the thousands of essays one worth resurfacing and resavoring because I write primarily about ideas of a timeless character. Contribute to this midweek that is free for heart, mind, and spirit below — it is separate through the standard Sunday digest of the latest pieces:

The greater amount of Loving One: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads W.H. Auden’s Sublime Ode to Our Unrequited Love for the Universe

Favorite Books of 2018

Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert

Rebecca Solnit’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Precisely Books Solace, Empower, and Transform Us

A Brave and Startling Truth: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads Maya Angelou’s Stunning Humanist Poem That Flew to Space, Inspired by Carl Sagan

In Praise for the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on coping with Turbulent Times

A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca from the Ant >

The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafra >

10 Learnings from ten years of Brain Pickings

The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson while the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Inconvenient Truth to Power

Timeless Suggestions About Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

A Rap on Race: Margaret Mead and James Baldwin’s Rare Conversation on Forgiveness together with Difference Between Guilt and Responsibility

The Science of Stress and exactly how Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease

Mary Oliver on What Attention Really Means and Elegy that is her moving for Soul Mate

Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Dark Times, Resisting the Defeatism of Easy Despair, and What Victory Really Means for Movements of Social Change

The Lonely City: Adventures when you look at the Art to be Alone

Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives

Related Reads

Annie Dillard regarding the Art associated with Essay as well as the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

Ted Hughes on how best to Be a Writer: A Letter of Advice to His 18-Year-Old Daughter

W.E.B. Dubois on Earning One’s Privilege: His Magnificent Letter of Advice to His Teenage Daughter

Famous Writers’ Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized

7 Life-Learnings from 7 many years of Brain Pickings, Illustrated

Anaпs Nin on Love, Hand-Lettered by Debbie Millman

Anaпs Nin on Real Love, Illustrated by Debbie Millman

Susan Sontag on Love: Illustrated Diary Excerpts

Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts

Albert Camus on Happiness and Love, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton

The Holstee Manifesto

The Silent Music associated with the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks

Simple tips to Read Intelligently and Write a Great Essay: Robert Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter

“Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery as well as the stamina to publish essays,” E.B. White wrote when you look at the foreword to his collected essays. Annie Dillard sees things almost the way that is opposite insisting that essayists perform a public service — they “serve whilst the memory of a people” and “chew over our public past.” Although he had never written an essay himself, the advice Pulitzer-winning poet Robert Frost (March 26, 1874–January 29, 1963) wanted to his eldest daughter, Lesley, not merely stands as an apt mediator between White and Dillard but also some of the most enduring wisdom on essay-writing ever committed to paper.

During her junior year in college, Lesley shared her exasperation over having been assigned to write an essay that is academic a book she didn’t find particularly inspiring. The art of the essay, and even thinking itself in a magnificent letter from February of 1919, found in The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1 (public library), the beloved poet gave his daughter sage counsel on her particular predicament, emanating general wisdom on writing.

5 years before he received the very first of his four Pulitzer Prizes, 45-year-old Frost writes:

I pity you, needing to write essays where no chance is had by the imagination, or next to no chance. Just one word of advice: Try to avoid strain or at any rate the appearance of strain. One way to head to work is to read through your author once or twice over having an optical eye out for anything that occurs to you personally as you read whether appreciative contradictory corroborative or parallel…

He speaks into the notion that writing, like all creativity, is a matter of selecting the few ideas that are thrilling the large amount of dull ones that happen to us — “To invent… is always to choose,” as French polymath Henri Poincarй famously proclaimed. Frost counsels:

There ought to be just about of a jumble in your thoughts or on your own note paper after the very first time and even after the 2nd. Much that you shall think about in connection will come to nothing and start to become wasted. However some from it need to go together under one idea. That idea is the thing to write on and write in to the title at the head of your paper… One idea and a few subordinate ideas — the trick is to have those happen to you while you read and catch them — not let them escape you… The sidelong glance is exactly what you rely on. You look at your author you keep carefully the tail of one’s eye about what is happening in addition to your author in your mind that is own and.

Reflecting on his days as an English teacher at New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy, Frost points to precisely this over-and-above quality as the factor that set apart the handful of his students who mastered the essay through the vast majority of the who never did. (Although because of the period of his tenure the Academy officially accepted young women, Frost’s passing remark that his class consisted of sixty boys reveals a whole lot about women’s plight for education.) He writes:

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