Reading Elizabeth Bishop’s The Sandpiper along with William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence, this talk by Wai Chee Dimock makes a case for the continuing resonances of two poets who, writing before climate change was an available term, nonetheless spoke to the vulnerabilities of the planet—of humans and nonhumans—in a way newly meaningful in the climate-endangered 21st century.
Wai Chee Dimock is the William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. Editor of PMLA, she also writes for Critical Inquiry, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. She was a consultant for “Invitation to World Literature,” a 13-part series produced by WGBH and aired on PBS. Her new book, Weak Planet: From Vulnerability to Resilience, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.