Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dorian Gray – Guilty of “Corrupting” Youth

By expanding the way the same-sex community saw themselves, “Picture of Dorian Gray” was indeed guilty of the charges brought against it.

Posted in Wilde (Oscar) | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Like a Cat Asleep on a Chair, O Lord

In “Pax,” D. H. Lawrence echoes the 23rd Psalm only substitutes a cat for a sheep.

Posted in Bible, Lawrence (D. H.) | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Major in English, Make Millions

My son Toby, currently a graduate student in English, just sent me this link to a Slate article about Mitt Romney discouraging students from becoming English majors. Here is the paragraph that caught my eye: “You really don’t want to take out $150,000 loan to go into English because you’re not going to be able to […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Dead Return to Comfort Us

The Pedro Almodovar film “Volver” explores the longing the love will prove more powerful than death.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Students, Fling Up Your Windows!

Stephen Vincent Benet has a perfect poem for students worn out from end-of-the-semester studying.

Posted in Benet (Stephen Vincent) | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Shakespeare with a Smart Phone

The plays would have been different if Shakespeare’s characters had had access to social media.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Creeping Sense of Entitlement

King Hrothgar in “Beowulf” describes the creeping sense of entitlement that can possess a society’s wealthiest citizens.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Loose Cannons and the 2008 Meltdown

Victor Hugo’s terrifying description of a loose cannon can be applied to the 2008 financial meltdown.

Posted in Hugo (Victor) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Silver Water Crushes Like Silk

Although not explicitly religious, Mary Oliver has a Good Friday-Resurrection progression in many of her poems, including “Morning at Great Pond.”

Posted in Oliver (Mary) | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments


  • 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.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!