“You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.” – Adrienne Rich

 

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Adrienne Rich, as a poet, essayist and feminist activist, held strong to her convictions. Here is some ‘life advice’ from her, which has resonated even more crucially as counterbalance to the current political climate.

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work … you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions…”

Life Advice from Adrienne Rich – LitHub

A Kite is a Victim – Leonard Cohen

A Kite is a Victim

By Leonard Cohen
From: The Spice-Box of Earth
March 1965

A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.

A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won’t give up,
or the wind die down.

A kite is the last poem you’ve written,
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.

A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.

“Yet another thread unraveling from the very fabric of society.”

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Legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen passed away on November 10, 2016.

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love

The Crack In Everything Widens: A Dirge For Leonard Cohen By Sezin Koehler

Photo from: www.leonardcohen.com

Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker

Leonard Cohen at home in Los Angeles in September, 2016.

At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny.

Leonard Cohen’s official audio for You Want It Darker.

Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker By David Remnick in the New Yorker

 

How to be a writer: 10 tips involving joy, suffering, reading and lots and lots of writing

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According to Rebecca Solnit on lithub.com:

“Write. There is no substitute. Write what you most passionately want to write, not blogs, posts, tweets or all the disposable bubblewrap in which modern life is cushioned … The road is made entirely out of words. Write a lot.”

“At any point in history there is a great tide of writers of similar tone, they wash in, they wash out, the strange starfish stay behind, and the conches.”

“It’s all really up to you, but you already knew that and knew everything else you need to know somewhere underneath the noise and the bustle and the anxiety and the outside instructions, including these ones.”

How to be a writer: 10 tips by Rebecca Solnit

 

“Voracious readers are happy to take their text however they can get it.”

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“While 6 percent said they read books only in digital format, 38 percent said they read books exclusively in print. But 28 percent are reading a combination of digital and printed books, suggesting that voracious readers are happy to take their text however they can get it.”

No, the Internet Has Not Killed the Printed Book. Most People Still Prefer Them.
By DANIEL VICTOR

 

Proust as Antidote for Smartphone-Induced Attention Deficit

“Daniel Mendelsohn had a particularly modern take on the value of reading Proust’s densely written, heavily detailed, slowly unfolding opus known as In Search of Lost Time (Remembrance of Things Past).:

Recently I was traveling on a train next to a young man—a recent college graduate, I guessed—who was reading a hugely fat Victorian novel. Since I teach literature, this made me happy. But as I watched him I noticed that roughly every 90 seconds he’d fish out his iPhone to check his text messages. After a while this reflexive tic made me so nervous that I moved to another seat. As a writer as well as a teacher, I found it nerve-wracking to think that this is how some people are reading novels these days—which is to say, not really reading them, because you can’t read anything serious in two-minute spurts, or with your mind half on something else, like the messages you may be getting. Multitasking is the great myth of the present era: you cannot, in fact, do two things at the same time.

Especially if one of them requires considerable resources of attentiveness and intellectual commitment. To my mind, a very important reason to have a go at Proust right now—which is to say, to read him with a mind as receptive as his was large—is to exercise one’s powers of commitment.

Proust as Antidote for Smartphone-Induced Attention Deficit

LITERATURE – Marcel Proust