Monthly Archives: April 2014

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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I Am the Stem that Fed the Fruit

Judith Wright’s “Woman to Child” captures the primal bond that begins early and never ends.

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The Work Ethic of Poor People

The American work ethic is alive at all levels of society, including in the drug trade.

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Tormented, Torn & Twisted with Doubt

In Levertov’s poem on St. Thomas, she links his doubts with that of the father of the demon-possessed son who comes to Jesus.

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NBA Playoffs: Daphne Chases Apollo

Like the topsy-turvy forest in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the NBA playoffs are witnessing strange reversals.

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Women Making Sense of Their Lives

The female Bildungsroman arose to help women make sense of their lives in the feminist era.

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Websites for Literature Lovers

I’m currently inundated with students essays and so am not posting an essay today, referring you instead to Flavor Wire’s “25 Best Websites for Literature Lovers.” (Thanks to Rachel Kranz for alerting me to it.) Some of these websites I visit regularly (like the New Yorker’s “Page Turner”) and some I’m learning about for the […]

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Mother Goose’s Ecological Warnings

Scott Bates’ variation of familiar Mother Goose rhymes warn us of environmental devastation.

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The Elaborate Plots of Conspiracy Nuts

Conspiracy theories bear a lot of resemblance to literary plots.

Posted in Pynchon (Thomas) | Tagged , , | 4 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.

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