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

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

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

Newsletter sunday

Brain Pickings has a totally free Sunday digest of the week’s most fascinating and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, as well as other strands of our seek out truth, beauty, and meaning. Here is an 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. Subscribe to this midweek that is free for heart, mind, and spirit below — it really is separate through the standard Sunday digest of new pieces:

The More Loving One: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads W.H. Auden’s Sublime Ode to the 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 Exactly How 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 regarding the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times

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

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

10 Learnings from a decade of Brain Pickings

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

Timeless Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

A Rap on Race: Margaret Mead and James Baldwin’s Rare Conversation on Forgiveness as well as the Difference Between Guilt and Responsibility

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

Mary Oliver about what Attention Really Means and Her Moving Elegy on her soul mates

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 in the creative art to be Alone

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

Related Reads

Annie Dillard from the creative art of the Essay therefore the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

Ted Hughes on the best way 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 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 for the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks

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

“Only an individual who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery as well as the stamina to create essays,” E.B. White wrote into 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 since 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) agreed to his eldest daughter, Lesley, not just stands as an apt mediator between White and Dillard but additionally a few of the most enduring wisdom on essay-writing ever dedicated to paper.

During her junior year in college, Lesley shared her exasperation over having been assigned to create an academic essay about a book she didn’t find particularly inspiring. In an impressive 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 the particular predicament, emanating general wisdom on writing, the art of the essay, and even thinking itself.

Five years before he received the initial of his four Pulitzer Prizes, 45-year-old Frost writes:

I pity you, having to write essays where the imagination does not have any chance, or close to no chance. Just one single word of advice: Try to avoid strain or at the very least 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 while you read whether appreciative contradictory corroborative or parallel…

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

There must be more or less of a jumble in your head or in your note paper after the first time and even after the second 123helpme. Much that you shall think about in connection should come to nothing and get wasted. Many of 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 as you read and catch them — not allow them to escape you… The sidelong glance is really what you be determined by. You appear at your author but you keep consitently the tail of your eye about what is occurring 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 number of his students who mastered the essay from the vast majority of these who never did. (Although because of the period of his tenure the Academy officially accepted young women, Frost’s remark that is passing his class consisted of sixty boys reveals a great deal about women’s plight for education.) He writes:

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