Emotion: wisdom from a poet and a robot

“Only emotion endures.”

I was driving down the highway the other day, listening to Tim Ferriss interview comedian and writer Mike Birbiglia. And Birbiglia quoted Ezra Pound as saying: “Only emotion endures.”

Now back at my desk, I can tell you that what Pound wrote exactly was:

“Only emotion endures.” Surely it is better for me to name over the few beautiful poems that still ring in my head than for me to search my flat for back numbers of periodicals and rearrange all that I have said about friendly and hostile writers.

He wrote that in 1918. Nearly 100 years later and it’s just as true. People remember emotions—the things that “ring in [their] head.” So make sure you connect with your readers’ or listeners’ emotions.

But that’s not the end of my story. I was driving when I heard this quote, you’ll recall. So I clicked on the microphone of my bluetooth headset and dicated a note to Siri. She managed to spell Birbiglia correctly—someone at Apple must be a fan—but this is the quote she transcribed:

“Only emotion and doors.”

That made me think of this amazing sequence from the Pixar movie Monsters Inc. (Product synergy strikes again.)

Enjoy your Saturday, folks.

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