Monthly Archives: June 2016

Poetry Turns Prisoner’s Life Around

Reginald Dwayne Betts’s life was turned around when he encounter an anthology of African American poetry in prison. Today he is a graduate of Yale Law School and an accomplished poet in his own right. I share a poem written about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old shot by Cleveland police.

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Workers of the World, Read! (Then Unite)

A “Washington Post” article argues that the arts are key in counteracting economic injustice. While this is true, the arts must be accompanied by smart politics to achieve this end.

Posted in Fitzgerald (F. Scott), Sidney (Sir Philip), Wharton (Edith) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Envy, the Sin That Blinds

In this week’s poker essay by novelist Rachel Kranz, envy is described as the one deadly sin that gives no pleasure at all.

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Kipling Perfectly Describes Brexiteers

A “Guardian” article applies Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Dead Statesman” to those irresponsible politicians who brought about Brexit. The poem applies equally well to Donald Trump.

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With Brexit, UK Betrayed Spirit of Chaucer

Brexit violates everything that Geoffrey Chaucer, Britain’s quintessential poet, stood for.

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Footprints on the Sands of Time

Longfellow’s “Psalm of Life” quotes from today’s Gospel reading–“let the dead bury their own dead”–in ways that help illuminate Jesus’s message.

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America’s Dream: We Contain Multitudes

My Trinidadian daughter-in-law today becomes an American citizen. I welcome her with an excerpt from Whitman’s “Song of Myself” that contains multitudes.

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Bringing an End to Bernie’s Romance

The Democratic Party has been striving to let Bernie Sanders down slowly, even as it separates him from his dream. It is like the way upper crust society in Edith Wharton’s “Age of Innocence” separates the protagonist for the scandalous woman he has fallen in love with.

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The Sewanee Gentleman & Related Poems

As the son of a professor at the University of the South, I grew up hearing about “the Sewanee gentleman.” A recent exhibit on the Sewanee gentleman includes poems by Robert Browning and Rudyard Kipling, which were used to reenforce the concept.

Posted in Browning (Robert), Kipling (Rudyard) | 3 Comments

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