Tag Archives: Intimations of Immortality

Visit Puerto Rico with Wings of Healing

Read through hurricane-weary eyes, Coleridge’s “Dejection: An Ode” promises soulful hope.

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Dissolving into the Glories of the Sun

Andrew Marvell’s “On a Drop of Dew” compares the soul’s visit to the earth realm to a dew drop. In the process, he references the manna in the wilderness, today’s Old Testament reading.

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Reconnecting with My Dead Son

Thursday I had a shock of recognition while teaching Stephen King’s IT in my American Fantasy class yesterday. The approach to life that saves the day for the protagonist is the approach that got my eldest son killed 16 years ago. Yet I don’t think King is wrong. In fact, I was comforted once I saw the […]

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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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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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Angel Infancy

Henry Vaughan’s “The Retreat” believes that children have a special connection with eternity.

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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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A Light Exists in Spring

Emily Dickinson captures magical light of spring–and its transience.

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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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Such Singing in the Wild Branches

On a beautiful spring morning when she is startled by birdsong, Mary Oliver describes a merging with nature where she “began to understand what the bird was saying.”

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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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A Spiritual Interpretation of Waterfalls

Spiritual Sunday I still haven’t gotten over the waterfalls at Yosemite—does one ever?—and so am sharing a spiritual interpretation of a waterfall by the 17th century mystical Anglican poet Henry Vaughan.  I’ve mentioned in a previous post  that I have mixed feelings about Vaughan (especially by how he sees the natural world cordoned off from […]

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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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