Monthly Archives: March 2014

Is Bridget Kelly a Femme Fatale?

Christie’s Bridgegate scandal is beginning to look like “The Maltese Falcon.”

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The Opening of Eyes Long Closed

A Salman Rushdie short story and a David Whyte poem lead to insights into the story of Jesus and the blind man.

Posted in Rushdie (Salman) | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bat Waits for Ball to Mate

The start of the baseball season calls for this fine May Swenson poem.

Posted in Swenson (May) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Rumsfeld through the Looking Glass

Interviewing Donald Rumsfeld is like entering Alice’s looking glass world.

Posted in Carroll (Lewis) | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Whither Flight MH370? Shangri-La?

The disappearance of MH370 momentarily led me to fantasize that the passengers had ended up in Shangri La.

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Top 10 Hellish Child-Parent Relationships

Top 10 Literary Parent-Child Relationships from Hell.

Posted in Aeschylus, Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Euripides, Lawrence (D. H.), O'Connor (Flannery), Plath (Sylvia), Roth (Philip K.), Shakespeare (William), Shelton (Richard), Sophocles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top 10 Parent-Child Classics (Positive)

A top ten list of classics with positive depictions of parent-child relationships.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Eliot (George), Hughes (Langston), Lee (Harper), Stowe (Harriet Beecher) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Female Freedom Drives Right Crazy

Euripides “The Bacchae” well describes rightwing legislators obsessed with abortion.

Posted in Euripides | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Chaucer’s Riff on the Woman at the Well

Seen in the light of the Samaritan woman at the well, Chaucer’s Wife of Bath is one of Christ’s messengers.

Posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Call of the Steel Hoop

Celebrate March Madness with this “transcendent moment in sports” poem.

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When the World Is Puddle Wonderful

It was raining yesterday in Pittsburgh on the first day of spring, bringing to mind one of the great poems about the season.

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Why GOP Right Is Beating Up on the Poor

Paul Ryan projects upon the poor as Joseph Conrad did upon Africans.

Posted in Conrad (Joseph) | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turn Life into a Great Jamesian Novel

Philosopher Nancy Nussbaum, drawing on Henry James, shows how the creative imagination is also a moral imagination.

Posted in James (Henry) | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Centrality of Fiction to Our Lives

Jonathan Gottschall’s “How Stories Make Us Human” is an enlightening book with some limitations.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Am of Ireland

Yeats captures the enduring myth that is Ireland in two poems.

Posted in Yeats (William Butler) | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Who Has Seen the Wind?

Christina Rossetti’s “Who Has Seen the Wind?” is about the Holy Spirit.

Posted in Rossetti (Christina) | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Rock-Paper-Scissors = Bad Relationship

Barbara Goldowsky uses the game of rock-scissors-paper to convey a dysfunctional relationship.

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Literature as an Ethics Laboratory

Literature helps us explore what it means to be an ethical being.

Posted in Morrison (Toni) | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Jane Eyre: Poverty Is No Crime

Unemployed Americans are much more like Jane Eyre than hammock-seeking wastrels.

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Lewis Carroll’s Revolt against “Reality”

“Alice in Wonderland” was Carroll’s protest against Victorian society.

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Milton Would Call Paul Ryan a Wolf

Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy about the poor deserves a Miltonian rebuke.

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An Afghan Vet’s Green Knight Encounter

An Afghan vet found his war experience captured by “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”

Posted in Sir Gawain Poet | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Jane Eyre” as Lenten Meditation

In Jane’s battle with St. John Rivers, we have material that helps us understand the true meaning of Lent.

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte) | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Lebron James, Poetry in Motion

A Kent Cartright poem to celebrate Lebron’s 61 points.

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New Grandchild Born under a Dancing Star

To celebrate the birth of my new granddaughter, I turn to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Shakespeare.

Posted in Browning (Elizabeth Barrett), Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pope’s Longing for a Spotless Mind

The movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” uses an Alexander Pope poem as its springboard.

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A Modest Proposal for Shooting Students

Reacting against a proposal to allow guns on Idaho campuses, an Idaho professor has come up with a modest proposal of his own.

Posted in Swift (Jonathan) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Fantasy Provides Aid for Life’s Storms

As a child who grew up immersed in fantasy fiction, I knew, as deeply as I knew anything, that these books put me in touch with something that was deep and true. As I grew up, of course, I learned that I had to move beyond fantasy just as I had to move beyond childhood. […]

Posted in Keats (John), Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Expect No Second Charge in Ukraine

Battling Russian troops 110 years ago in the Crimea, the British light brigade inspired Tennyson. Expect no doomed charge from the West this time.

Posted in Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

To the Pure All Things Are Pure

Edwin Muir’s beautiful poem about the transfiguration points the way to pure seeing for all of us.

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Sex without Love

Sex without love, as Sharon Olds frames it, requires a fascistic narcissism.

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