I once told a  high school English class of students who were not interested enough in Emily Dickenson:

Some of you will die young. Some of you will live long enough and suffer enough to wish you had died young. I can’t forsee the future when it comes to who will live and who will die but I can tell you this. All of you will suffer from the most intractable, ubiquitous source of suffering that exists. Of all the suffering you will do in life there will be one source of it that will dwarf all others. You can suffer in war, you can lose your legs, lose your hands, lose your sight and you will find ways to adjust to that loss. You can have physical pain from injury and disease that will make you groan and wince every time you move but you can adjust to it. The only pain in life you will never escape and you will never get used to is the pain that comes with relationships you enter into that become romantic relationships – we call them love relationships but they are nothing of the sort. This is what Emily Dickinson wants to tell you  about.

That got their attention, believe me.

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