Monthly Archives: November 2016

Figaro: The Play That Spurred a Revolution

In “Marriage of Figaro,” Beaumarchais took the “clever servant” trope and turned into into a vehicle for revolutionary ideals. The play can be seen as having paved the way for the French Revolution.

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Dorothy as Feminist Threat

In 1986, Christian fundamentalists objected to “The Wizard of Oz” being taught in school and won their lawsuit. As ridiculous as the case may sound, there are actually some good reasons for them to feel threatened.

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Trumpist Masculinity Isn’t Kind to Men

In a story which is only too timely, the Washington Post recently reported that “sexist men have psychological problems.” Adrienne Rich was talking about this over 60 years ago in poems like “The Knight.”

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If Swift Had Known Donald Trump…

Jonathan Swift would have had a field day with Donald Trump. I suspect I’ll say this often in the upcoming years.

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The Twisted Fingers Letting Go

Catherine Alder has a beautiful poem in which she calls upon us to unclench our fists. I reflect also upon two other works that feature clenched fists, Blake’s “Grey Monk” and George MacDonald’s “Lilith.”

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Back from Surgery and Doing Fine

My 91-year-old mother returned home yesterday from successful back surgery. I dedicate this 1914 Amy Lowell poem about convalescence to her.

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Thanksgiving in the Age of Trump

Thanksgiving this year may encounter the strains of the recent election. For a depiction of how bad it can get, check out the Christmas dinner scene in “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.” It will show you what to avoid.

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Death Seems Comely at the Fall of the Leaf

The lure of many autumn poems lies in how they focus on a vanishing beauty. Dante Gabriel Rossetti finds death to be “a comely thing/In Autumn at the fall of the leaf.”

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Civil War Battle, Image of Climate Denial

Ambrose Bierce’s disturbing short story “Chickamauga” can be applied to climate change denialsm.

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