What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Topic: The Guantanamo Poems

Robert Pinsky: I did not collect the poems written at Guantanamo. I had relatively little to do with that book. That book was collected largely by attorneys who had volunteered at that time to work with people, who were detained often with minimal ---- amazingly minimal legal process. People who were detained at Guantanamo, and I would assume with that, knowing very little about it. They are just tremendous range of people, a range culturally, a range of --- but I am sure ranges of people who are tremendously guilty of many things and people who are innocent of many many things. The editor at the press that was about to publish that book originally talked to me about writing an introduction and they sent me the manuscript and I tried conscientiously to read the poems and I hope I correctly recognize my own adequacy. I was not conveyed to provide an introduction to these poems. You would have to ----at the minimum you would have to know something about Arabic poetry, you would have to know little bit about these cultures and they come from cultures in which amateur poetries are very important component. For me with amateur poetry in this country, I have taught adult classes I have taught in prisons. I don’t say amateur with a sneer, in many ways it’s possible to idolize the country in which there is a lot of amateur poetry. It might be good for professionals like me, but I felt inadequate to write in the introduction and at the same time I felt strongly about the abuses of liberties and that military people were shocked. People of military --- legal military people were both and what was happening there and these guys were just in a tremendous fix to pick their end. They have been put in by the government of my country. I didn’t want to just say , “oh I am so sorry. This is not my field.” So I tried to write a blurb that would at least put my name in the book and say this is an urgent book for us to be aware of. We should think about these people. They shouldn’t just be sealed away in a part we are releasing from a government that we don’t recognize as a part of Cuba. If you have read that in vicinity or hiatus I can’t figure these you would say, “I can’t figure these people I don’t know what’s going on here.” anyway there they are and this part of Cuba that we release from this government. We refuse that if we have anything to do with and we must adjust ---- forget about them. They need to be thought about and I was speaking ----- because I had been appealed to and very aware that my gifts and knowledge, whatever they are as a poet, would not terrifically tremain to the contents of that book.

 

Recorded On: 3/25/08

 

The Guantanamo Poems

Newsletter: Share: