Advice from Beethoven, Joseph Campbell, & W. S. Merwin

Advice from Beethoven, Joseph Campbell, W. S. Merwin, W. D. Snodgrass Human Voices Wake Us

An episode from 7/3/21: Here, with the help of a few quotations, I ask: should poets and writers be able to cook themselves a decent meal, or is a life of the mind (with a side of fast food) the best we can expect? Is it a relief to hear Beethoven admit that everything he did, outside of music, was wrong and stupid? And is it useful to tell younger poets that they should find anything to do other than poetry, since it will never be as fulfilling as they want it to be.

Sometimes these are the best episodes, where quotations on creativity from a handful of people can be tossed around and thought about in real time.

The main quotations discussed here come from Joseph Campbell (interviewed by Michael Toms), Beethoven (from Jan Swafford’s biography), and the Paris Review interviews with W. S. Merwin and W. D. Snodgrass.

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