In Burning the Midnight Oil, word-wrangler extraordinaire Phil Cousineau has gathered an eclectic and electric collection of soulful poems and prose from great thinkers throughout the ages. Whether beguiling listeners with glorious poetry or consoling them with prayers from fellow restless souls, Cousineau can relieve any insomniac's unease.
From St. John of the Cross to Annie Dillard, Beethoven to The Song of Songs, this refreshingly insightful anthology soothes and inspires all who struggle through the dark of the night. These "night thoughts" vividly illustrate Alfred North Whitehead's liberating description of "what we do without solitude" and also evoke Henry David Thoreau's reverie, "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." The night writers in Cousineau's vesperal collection range from saints, poets, and shamen to astronomers and naturalists, and tells of ancient tales and shining passages from the most brilliant (albeit insomniac) writers of today.
These poetic ponderances sing of the falling darkness, revel in dream-time, convey the ache of melancholy, conspire against sleeplessness, vanquish loneliness, contemplate the night sky, rhapsodize on love, and languorously greet the first rays of dawn. Notable night owls include Rabandranath Tagore, Mary Oliver, Manley Hopkins, Jorge Borges, and William Blake.
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A Beautiful Blend of Voice and Story
I purchased this yesterday, and enjoyed listening to all of the poems and stories in Part 1, The Twilight Zone, during a long drive home. It is a wonderful sensitive reading, and I found myself moved to tears during the reading of PJ Curtis' story The Last Prince of Thormond. A magic combination of words and voice.
- Lou Ann Granger