Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh Air about Emily Dickinson

I was driving home from Atlanta tonight and caught “Fresh Air” with Terri Gross. She is the best interviewer- she should replace Larry King. She interviewed Billy Collins, for US poet laureate about Emily Dickinson. I admit that I have never liked poetry that much. It always seemed more efficient to simply say what you mean rather than bury the meaning in verse, but I was wrong. Collins talked about the pictures drawn by Dickinson with her words, and he believes that she is the greatest American poet. I found it very interesting that she wrote on in one tempo. In fact, apparently everyone one of her poems can be sung to the tune and rhythm of the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Her various word paintings, each addressing a different facet of her life and our lives, are contained in the same literary form. That makes the richness of her words even greater to me. She was not dependent on meter and rhythm to make her music heard- just the lyrics. It was a fascinating discussion and I appreciate Dickinson like I never have before.

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