It’s so easy to lose faith and become lost in all of the politics of the world. That’s why we need the arts. To sublimate our frustration and anger into something beautiful. Freud called sublimation a virtuous defence mechanism because it is in the arts that we can find our humanity.
Reading poetry is like undressing before a bath. You don't undress out of fear that your clothes will become wet. You undress because you want the water to touch you. You want to completely immerse yourself in the feeling of the water and to emerge anew.
Poetry empowers the simplest of lives to confront the most extreme sorrows with courage, and motivates the mightiest of offices to humbly heed lessons in compassion.
For what was it about books that once finished left the reader in a bit of a haze and made them reread the last few sentences in order to continue the ringing in their hearts a while longer, so as not to let the silence illumine the fact that reading, they had gained something — distance, a lesson, a companion, a new world — but now, after the last full stop, they had lost something palpable and felt a little emptier than before.
The vocational approach at NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts) helps build grit in students. It teaches them how to be single-minded in pursuit of a goal, to sacrifice for the sake of a passion. The teachers demand hard work from their kids because they know, from personal experience, that creative success requires nothing less.