Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “SoundCloud”

Wait: Galway Kinnell’s Beautiful and Life-Giving Poem for a Young Friend Contemplating Suicide
Wait: Galway Kinnell’s Beautiful and Life-Giving Poem for a Young Friend Contemplating Suicide

“Be there to hear … the flute of your whole existence…”

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Poetry and the Creative Mind: Bill T. Jones’s Electrifying Reading of Four Beloved Poems
Poetry and the Creative Mind: Bill T. Jones’s Electrifying Reading of Four Beloved Poems

A scintillating spoken love letter to the power of the written word.

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James Baldwin on the Artist’s Struggle for Integrity and How It Illuminates the Universal Experience of What It Means to Be Human
James Baldwin on the Artist’s Struggle for Integrity and How It Illuminates the Universal Experience of What It Means to Be Human

“The poets (by which I mean all artists) are finally the only people who know the truth about us. Soldiers don’t. Statesmen don’t. Priests don’t. Union leaders don’t. Only poets.”

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Patti Smith Reads Her Beautiful Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe About How He Taught Her What It Means to Be an Artist
Patti Smith Reads Her Beautiful Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe About How He Taught Her What It Means to Be an Artist

“You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist.”

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Poet Sarah Kay on How We Measure Creative Success, Being a Working Artist in Today’s World, and the Only Antidote to Our Endemic Fear of Missing Out
Poet Sarah Kay on How We Measure Creative Success, Being a Working Artist in Today’s World, and the Only Antidote to Our Endemic Fear of Missing Out

…and a wonderful fable about the three different ways of relating to one’s work, each essential for the whole of art.

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Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience
Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience

“It’s by writing… by stepping back a bit from the real thing to look at it, that we are most present.”

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Sylvia Plath Reads “Spinster” in a Rare BBC Recording
Sylvia Plath Reads “Spinster” in a Rare BBC Recording

A subversive lamentation of how our compulsion for control empties life of love.

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David Whyte on Vulnerability, Presence, and How We Enlarge Ourselves by Surrendering to the Uncontrollable
David Whyte on Vulnerability, Presence, and How We Enlarge Ourselves by Surrendering to the Uncontrollable

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.”

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Billy Collins Reads His Homage to Aristotle
Billy Collins Reads His Homage to Aristotle

A wonderful ode to how the great Greek philosopher shaped the paradigm of storytelling.

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Eudora Welty Reads Her Comic and Quietly Heartbreaking Masterpiece “Why I Live at the P.O.”
Eudora Welty Reads Her Comic and Quietly Heartbreaking Masterpiece “Why I Live at the P.O.”

“Here I am, and here I’ll stay. I want the world to know I’m happy.”

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