Writing is the activity I most enjoy doing (I don’t have a girlfriend at present), and yet, though I enthusiastically await every opportunity to write, hoping to create literary compositions, when I am faced with the blank paper I procrastinate. I do a thousand menial tasks to ‘prepare myself for writing.’ And by the time I am done with them, half an hour or more has passed, and I feel too tired to write and forsake the pen and paper.
Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak.
- Tips from Kurt Vonnegut (swiss-miss.com)
The truth is we don’t know why this shit happens. In an interview with The Guardian, Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the ‘cancer memoir’ The Emperor of All Maladies, says, “In a spiritual sense, a positive attitude may help you get through chemotherapy and surgery and radiation and what have you. But a positive mental attitude does not cure cancer—any more than a negative mental attitude causes cancer.” We need to stop blaming cancer patients and start supporting their emotional needs. We can’t stop time. We can’t control most of life’s plot twists. We can embrace the unexpected, and give a patient a shoulder to cry on so that she can face her disease with genuine hope and realistic expectations.
- Positivity is Bullshit When You Have Cancer (gawker.com)
And in the activity of poetry too, there is a tendency to place a counter-reality in the scales – a reality which may be only imagined but which nevertheless has weight because it is imagined within the gravitational pull of the actual and can therefore hold its own and balance out against the historical situation. This redressing effect of poetry comes from its being a glimpsed alternative, a revelation of potential that is denied or constantly threatened by circumstances. And sometimes, of course, it happens that such a revelation, once enshrined in the poem, remains as a standard for the poet, so that he or she must then submit to the strain of bearing witness in his or her own life to the plane of consciousness established in the poem.
Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-redress-of-poetry/id446732845?mt=11
- Seamus Heaney’s Last Poem Published (whattoknownow.com)
- Paul Simon reads his favorite Seamus Heaney poem at East Village memorial (irishcentral.com)
Too many things in here for me to even start writing it all down.
Just digging through the odd bits of my iTunes list. Making discoveries. Here we have the innocence mission — folky and peaceful.
If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy.