Category Archives: Wordsworth (William)

The Mental Benefits of Forest Walking

Recent brain research notes that walking amongst trees is a powerful antidote to depression. Wordsworth knew this long ago.

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Using Lit to Discover Purpose in Science

My Intro to Literature students, few of whom are English majors, are often startled to discover that literature understands them better than they understand themselves. Today’s post describes the encounters between two science majors and, respectively, Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality” and Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior.”

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Dear Feast of Palms, of Flowers and Dew

Henry Vaughan’s “Palm Sunday” looks to palms, flowers, and palm-strewing children for Easter hope.

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Two Exam Poems To Lift Your Spirits

For students encounter end-of-semester pressure, here are two comic poems about exams. Laughter is an important resource for you at the moment.

Also posted in Bevington (Helen), Browning (Elizabeth Barrett), Keats (John), Shelley (Percy), Townshend (F. H.), Yeats (William Butler) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Donne’s Lovers, Spooky at a Distance

Tuesday Adam Gopnik makes some nice literary allusions in a recent New Yorker essay-review of George Musser’s Spooky at a Distance, which is about the history of quantum entanglement theory. Entanglement, also known as non-locality and described by Einstein as “spooky at a distance,” claims that two particles of a single wave function can influence each other, even […]

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King Looks to Children for Hope

Despite the horrors he describes, Stephen King’s vision is ultimately a hopeful one. The key, as he sees it, is plugging into childhood hopes and imagination.

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The Minstrels Played Their Christmas Tune

William Wordsworth celebrates Christmas was a poem about minstrels singing Christmas carols.

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The Peace of Wild Things

My Intro to Literature class explored how a disconnect from nature leads to existential anguish while opening themselves up to nature provides spiritual nourishment.

Also posted in Berry (Wendell), Clifton (Lucille), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Euripides, Kingsolver (Barbara), McCarthy (Cormac), Oliver (Mary), Shakespeare (William), Silko (Leslie Marmon), Sir Gawain Poet | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Hath Nothing to Show More Fair

An early morning bicycle ride in Madison reminded me of Wordsworth’s “Composed upon Westminster Bridge.”

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A Child’s Connection with the Dead

Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven” captured my son’s sense of connection with his dead brother.

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Reconnecting with the Forest Spirits

Here’s a story of how Wordsworth allows a Myanmar student reconnect with the forest spirits of her childhood.

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My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold Grandchildren

My heart leapt up Wordsworth style when playing with my grandchildren these past two weekends.

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Hope and Disillusion in Egypt

Wordsworth’s “Prelude” captures both the hopes and disillusion that many have felt about the Egyptian revolution.

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My Grandson, a “Best Philosopher”

Having grandchildren has changed my perspective on Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality.”

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My Heart Leapt Up

A rainbow sighting led to a discussion about how humans often turn to nature for guiding metaphors.

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All Which We Behold Is Full of Blessings

Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” provides us with passage that functions as a Thanksgiving poem.

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Once We Memorized Poetry

Memorizing poetry used to be standard classroom practice and poetry was widely popular before the snobs came in.

Also posted in Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Keats (John), Kilmer (Joyce), Kipling (Rudyard), Riley (James Whitcomb), Shelley (Percy), Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Moment Kindheartedness Walks In

Sometimes when I get depressed about the state of the world, I do two things. First, I remind myself that too often I allow myself to be stampeded into fear by media headlines, which use adrenaline to hook us. Second, I recollect the many generous and kind people in my life and in the world. […]

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With Aging, Abundant Recompense

  In a follow-up to yesterday’s post where I talked about my cancer-ridden friend Alan, I examine another passage from The Brothers Karamazov. This one is focused on aging generally, not just death. If you ever find yourself getting depressed about getting old, check it out.   And check out as well William Wordsworth’s Intimations […]

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How Lost Innocence Can Breed Monsters

Continuing the theme of lost innocence leads me to a discussion of Stephen King, America’s master of horror. Whether you like him or not, King is the bestselling author in the world because he taps effectively into our collective nightmares. One of these nightmares is over losing touch with our childhood innocence, and there is […]

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Coping with the Loss of Childhood

As I have been writing on dreams of lost innocence and the challenges of growing up, I thought I’d write on one of the great poems on the subject. In “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” Romantic poet William Wordsworth wrestles with his deep sense of loss. (You can read the entire poem […]

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