Below, wise words for the weekend, from Kurt Vonnegut to a group of NYC high school students who'd written to ask if he'd visit their school. (Ms. Lockwood, in case you're wondering, is their teacher.) Vonnegut very graciously declined, offering this sweet suggestion instead:

Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don't do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don't tell anybody what you're doing. Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK? Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what's inside you, and you have made your soul grow. God bless you all! 

Beautiful. Thank you to the excellent Letters of Note for sharing. Photo credit unknown - please share if you can! Any plans for the weekend ahead? I'm heading to New Hampshire with a dozen others to celebrate a friend's birthday on a farm. Can't wait!


  1. So wise! I love that!!
    Have fun camping. :)
    I'm having a baby shower. eek.

  2. This truly touched me so much. We're so attached to defining ourselves by how others feel about us/see us/acknowledge us. So important and profound to cultivate that inner knowing………..
    Hope you have a great weekend, my internet friend:)

  3. Love this! I worked in a coffee shop in college in UN Plaza and he came in often with his dog. He was always so pleasant and interesting!

  4. I'm going to write a poem and tear it up as soon as possible!

  5. Ah, so beautiful. I feel like my soul has grown a little bit more after reading this letter.

  6. Wise words, indeed!Meanwhile, enjoy another(!) camping trip.

  7. Beautiful. Great words and so true.

  8. Thank you, everyone!

    Rose, so exciting! Congratulations!

    Joey, so well said.

    Daina, that's the coolest.

  9. I really need to read some Vonnegut. I have Slaughterhouse Five saved for later on Amazon and am just waiting to get some money to buy it with a group of other books I've been wanting to get. That really is good advice to remind you that the act of creating is what's the most important part of writing. I fail to remind myself of this when I most need to hear it.

  10. I bet they remembered this longer than they would have a visit from the great man. Kurt Vonnegut was one of the greatest short stories writers ever. A great oak fell in the forest on his passing.



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