What impact have you had on poetry?
Billy Collins: A few people have said, “Well, this new poet is kind of imitating you,” but I never see it. I think it’s like when someone says “That person over there looks a lot like you.” You never see that yourself because you don’t think you look like what the first person thought you looked like. So I don’t really recognize these influences. I don’t know. Insofar as my poetry, it’s not difficult. It’s readable. It follows the etiquette of a sentence. If you know English, you can step into the poem without any initial problems. I see them as courtesies, because I see willfully obscure poetry as simply a kind of verbal rudeness which begins by ignoring the reader.
It’s like being in a room with someone and they’re just ignoring you. They’re looking out the window or looking at their shoes. So I suppose in that sense I’ve brought a few people back to poetry who had been scared away from it by teachers and by the rigors of school, of the way poetry is handled in school.
July 4, 2007
Colins' poetry is "readable."
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.
- We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
- Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
- Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
It may be simpler than we thought.
- An analysis of a massive amount of data reveals four new personality types.
- The study is the first to take self-reporting out of the equation.
- The four new types are "average," "reserved," "self-centered," and "role model".
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.