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

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

Sunday newsletter

Brain Pickings has a free of charge Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and articles that are inspiring art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, along with other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. Here’s an illustration. Like? Claim yours:

midweek newsletter

Also: Because Brain Pickings is within 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 really 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 On 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 on 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 while the Culture-Shifting Courage to speak Truth that is inconvenient to

Timeless Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

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

The Science of Stress and just how pay someone to write my essay Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease

Mary Oliver about what Attention Really Means and Her Moving Elegy on her behalf true love

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 into 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 the Essay plus the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

Ted Hughes about how 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 Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks

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

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

During her junior year in college, Lesley shared her exasperation over having been assigned to write an academic essay about a book she didn’t find particularly inspiring. 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, the skill of the essay, and also thinking itself.

Five years before he received the first 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 your author a couple of times over having an eye out for anything that develops to you personally while you read whether appreciative contradictory corroborative or parallel…

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

There must be more or less 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 of in connection should come to nothing and start to become wasted. Many of it need to go together under one idea. That idea could be the thing to write on and write into the title during the head of your paper… One idea and some subordinate ideas — the trick is to have those occur to you while you read and catch them — not allow them to escape you… The sidelong glance is exactly what you be determined by. You appear at your author but you maintain the tail of your eye on which 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 quality that is over-and-above the component that set apart the number of his students who mastered the essay from the great majority of those 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 tremendous amount about women’s plight for education.) He writes:

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