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

Question: What is the Favorite Poem Project? 

Robert Pinsky: That is one of the main ideas behind the favorite poem project that concept that the poem finds its combination in the audience’s body and that’s an important principle I think in a democracy because the dignity of the individual is reflected in fact that the medium is on a human scale. It’s on an individual scale. It’s not a mass scale. It’s on the scale of one person’s voice saying the poem. That’s related to the other reason I undertook the project. There is a kind of glib, often reactionary, attitude that all Americans are jerks, They're yahoos. They don’t like art. They don’t like poetry. They only like their cars, their expensive clothes, and their electronic equipment and they're jusy glutinous dopes. Well now I have letters from many many thousands of Americans saying why they love poem by (inaudible), why they love poem by insurance salesman who loves an Ashbery poem. This African American woman in Washington who loves this poem by Alexander Polk reads in your translation from the Russian. Stereotypes in general, and the stereotype of Americans in particular, as though some how there have been obvious or the Russians are superior to us because they have cultures in which poetry has a settled place. Then inferior it’s not necessarily superior. We are still making up a lot of our cultures we go along. So there is that if I dare use the word patriotic aspect of the favorite poem project as well.

 

 

Recorded On: 3/25/08

 

What Is the Favorite Poem P...

Newsletter: Share: