Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “The Universe in Verse”

What We Imagine Knowledge to Be: James Gleick Reads Elizabeth Bishop
What We Imagine Knowledge to Be: James Gleick Reads Elizabeth Bishop

“If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn from the cold hard mouth of the world…”

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Stephen Jay Gould’s Charming Poem for Oliver Sacks’s Birthday, Read by Bill Hayes
Stephen Jay Gould’s Charming Poem for Oliver Sacks’s Birthday, Read by Bill Hayes

In loving praise of “this man, who’s in love with a cycad but once could have starred in a bike ad.”

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Amanda Palmer and The Decomposers Cover Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” in Tribute to Rachel Carson
Amanda Palmer and The Decomposers Cover Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” in Tribute to Rachel Carson

Art and science meet resistance in a modern reimagining of a classic anthem for the protection of nature.

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The Universe in Verse: John Cameron Mitchell Reads Walt Whitman’s Beautiful Least Known Poem
The Universe in Verse: John Cameron Mitchell Reads Walt Whitman’s Beautiful Least Known Poem

A lyrical serenade to a world we barely dare imagine and to our kinship with those creatures most different from us.

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Optimism: A Poetic Stop-Motion Celebration of Nature’s Resilience and the Persistence of Life Against All Odds
Optimism: A Poetic Stop-Motion Celebration of Nature’s Resilience and the Persistence of Life Against All Odds

A spare and lovely ode to that which we so easily forget yet which animates the center of existence.

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The Universe in Verse: Astrophysicist Natalie Batalha Reads Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Renascence” and Tells a Lyrical Personal Story About Her Path to Science
The Universe in Verse: Astrophysicist Natalie Batalha Reads Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Renascence” and Tells a Lyrical Personal Story About Her Path to Science

A poetic reflection on what we look at and what we see through the veils of our perception.

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Cutting Greens: Terrance Hayes Reads Lucille Clifton’s Spare and Stunning Ode to the Kinship of All Creatures
Cutting Greens: Terrance Hayes Reads Lucille Clifton’s Spare and Stunning Ode to the Kinship of All Creatures

A glorious fifteen-line celebration of “the bond of live things everywhere.”

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How to Eat an Apricot: Diane Ackerman on Art, Science, and Wonder
How to Eat an Apricot: Diane Ackerman on Art, Science, and Wonder

“First warm its continuous curve in cupped hands, holding it as you might a brandy snifter, then caress the velvety sheen with one thumb, and run your fingertips over its nap…”

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Singularity: Poet Marie Howe’s Beautiful Tribute to Stephen Hawking and Our Belonging to the Universe
Singularity: Poet Marie Howe’s Beautiful Tribute to Stephen Hawking and Our Belonging to the Universe

“Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity we once were?”

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Sojourns in the Parallel World: America Ferrera Reads Denise Levertov’s Ode to Our Ambivalent Relationship with Nature
Sojourns in the Parallel World: America Ferrera Reads Denise Levertov’s Ode to Our Ambivalent Relationship with Nature

“We call it ‘Nature’; only reluctantly admitting ourselves to be ‘Nature’ too.”

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