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The Divine Comedy, Doggerel Version

For a change of pace as we enter the Christmas season, I share here a light, witty, and very smart poem by my father on Dante’s Divine Comedy. The poem grew out of research that he was doing on Guillaume Apollinaire, the French poet who has been his scholarly subject. Don’t worry if you don’t […]

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Maurine Holbert Hogaboom Exits Stage Left

Yesterday a good friend died. Her name was Maurine Holbert Hogaboom and she was 98. If you want to read about her amazing life—how she journeyed to New York from rural Texas as a member of a burlesque troupe, how she found a living in the theatre, how she was called up before the House […]

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Unspeakable: A Father’s Suicide

Yesterday independent filmmaker Sally Heckel visited St. Mary’s and showed us her most recent film, Unspeakable.  Sally is most known for Jury of Her Peers, which was an Oscar nominee in the dramatic live-action short category.    As powerful as Jury of Her Peers is, I like Unspeakable even better. The film is about the suicide of her […]

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Fighting off Sickness and Death

It may have seem incongruous, in a website featuring old works, to have started off my first blog entry with a quotation from the contemporary Laguna Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko. But I find her faith that stories have the power to “fight off sickness and death” so close to my own view that it […]

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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