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Burning the Midnight Oil
Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey Into Day
Phil Cousineau
ISBN: 9781936740734
For. by Jeff "The Dude" Dowd
Book (Paperback)
Viva Editions
$16.95
5 x 7
244 pages
December 17, 2013


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"A holy text." — Coleman Barks

"A wonderful anthology." —Alberto Manuel, The History of Reading

"The brighter side of darkness- for some the night inspires. It's not just vampires who seek the dark: it's poets, painters, musicians and artists of all kinds. Writer, filmmaker and traveler Phil Cousineau has edited a new anthology that centers on the creative joys of nighttime. The mixture of poetry and prose is called Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey Into Day. The book has a forward from a surprising figure: Jeff Dowd, a film producer and political activist who was the inspiration for The Dude in the Coen Brother's film The Big Lebowski." –NPR Weekend Edition

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 readers 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." 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.

Winner of the Independent Publisher Award Gold Medal in Inspirational/Spiritual

Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, host of the Global Spirits series and travel tour leader. An early fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him from Michigan to Marrakesh, Iceland to the Amazon, in a worldwide search for what the ancients called the “soul of the world.” With more than 25 books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name, the “omnipresent influence of myth in modern life” is a thread that runs through all of his work. His books include Stoking the Creative Fires and Once and Future Myths. A protégé of the late Joseph Campbell, Cousineau is also the editor of The Hero’s Journey.
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