Emily Dickinson and R.E.M.

“It Beckons, and It Baffles—”: Resurrecting Emily Dickinson (and Poetry) in the Student-Centered ClassroomEnglish Journal (March 1998), P. L. Thomas

Adrienne Rich “Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson” (1984)

Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon (1994)

Judith Farr The Passion of Emily Dickinson (1992)

Emily Dickinson at Poetry Foundation

Emily Dickinson at Poets.org

Dickinson poems:

“This World is not Conclusion” (501)

“Wild Nights—Wild Nights!” (249)

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” (254)

R.E.M:

“Low Desert”

New Adventures In Hi-Fi

(official lyrics, published in Winter ’98 issue of “Double Take”)

it happened fast, it’s over quick.
a little dust and the engine kicks.
did your hands drift down off the wheel?
a roadowl hit your windshield?
an eyelash or a little bit of sleep?
did time stand still?
Just call it. now, and you’re on your way.

hey
hey hey
hey

all the ashtrays cities and the freeway drives
broken casinos and waterslides
the 18 wheeler and the payback dives
gravity pulls on the powerlines.
a jetstream cuts the desert sky,
this land could eat a man alive.
let’s say you’d leave it all behind.

hey
hey hey
hey

“tricked again.” let go.

there’s a radio tower, it’s egging you on.
back to the place where you never belonged.
where the people thrive on their own contempt.
whatever meaning is long gone spent.
if you had to guess or make bet,
would you place yourself inside of it?
the mountains yawn. the clouds let out a sigh.
“tricked again.” let go. okay.

hey
hey hey
hey

Applicable copyright is implicit (Copyright © R.E.M./Athens Ltd. for all R.E.M. originals).
These lyrics are official only when stated and in other cases represent a collaborative interpretation by fans.

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About plthomasedd

P. L. Thomas, Associate Professor of Education (Furman University, Greenville SC), taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. He is a column editor for English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English) and series editor for Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres (Sense Publishers), in which he authored the first volume—Challenging Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels (2010). He has served on major committees with NCTE, and has been named Council Historian (2013-2015), and formerly served as co-editor for The South Carolina English Teacher for SCCTE. Recent books include Ignoring Poverty in the U.S.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Education (Information Age Publishing, 2012) and Parental Choice?: A Critical Reconsideration of Choice and the Debate about Choice (Information Age Publishing, 2010).He has also published books on Barbara Kingsolver, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, and Ralph Ellison. His scholarly work includes dozens of works in major journals—English Journal, English Education, Souls, Notes on American Literature, Journal of Educational Controversy, Journal of Teaching Writing, and others. His commentaries have been included in Room for Debate (The New York Times), The Answer Sheet (Washington Post), The Guardian (UK), truthout, Education Week, The Daily Censored, OpEdNews, The State (Columbia, SC), The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) and The Greenville News (Greenville, SC). His work can be followed at the becoming radical (http://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/) and @plthomasEdD on twitter.

One response to “Emily Dickinson and R.E.M.”

  1. mrshoward118 says :

    One of my favorite music/poetry connections is Viva La Vida (Coldplay) and Ozymandias (Shelley). Thank you for your ideas!

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