Note: This interview was broadcast on the WGBH sister stations WCAI/WNAN, Prairie Public Radio, and on KUT in Austin, Texas.
When Helen Vendler
was only 13, the future poetry critic and Harvard professor
memorized several of Emily Dickinson’s
more famous poems. They’ve stayed with her over the years, and today, she talks with ThoughtCast’s Jenny Attiyeh
about one poem in particular that’s haunted her all this time. It’s called I cannot live with You-
According to Vendler, whose authoritative Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries
has recently been published, it’s a heartbreaking poem of an unresolvable dilemma, and ensuing despair.
(18 minutes) to listen!
This interview is the first in a new ThoughtCast series which examines a specific piece of writing — be it a poem, play, novel, short story, work of non-fiction or scrap of papyrus — that’s had a significant influence on the interviewee, that’s shaped and moved them.
Up next – esteemed novelist and short story writer Tom Perrotta discusses Good Country People, a short story by Flannery O’Connor that’s particularly meaningful to him.
, emily dickinson
, helen vendler
, I cannot live with You
, jenny attiyeh
, lyric poetry