Monthly Archives: May 2017

Lear, Trump & the Tyrant’s Loneliness

Donald Trump is like Lear in that both are trapped in a loneliness of their own making and, in their despair, both make the lives around them miserable. Lear finds his soul again at the end of the play, however. It might take a similar adversity for Trump to do so as well.

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Will Trump, Like Lear, Take Us All Down?

“The Washington Post” recently found numerous parallels between Lear and our own president, with “his zigzagging proclamations, his grandiose promises, his spasmodic attachments.”

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Memorial Day: Anthem for Doomed Youth

With Memorial Day, there is the danger that we will romanticize the deaths of the fallen rather than face up to the full tragedy. This tension can be seen in a number of World War I poems, some of which romanticize the fallen while others dwell on the absurdity of their deaths.

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Ramadan Came to the Heart’s Temple

In this poem Rumi captures the meaning of Ramadan, which began this past week. Although the fasting causes stress, that only serves to cleanse the body and liberate “the invisible treasure of the heart.”

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Surrendering to the Air

As I zip-lined in the Smokies, I thought of the concluding paragraph of Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon.”

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Grendel Evil vs. Beowulf’s Strength of Mind

The Manchester bombing sends us, as previous mass killings have done, to “Beowulf.” Perhaps no work of literature better captures the monstrosity of angry resentment. Fortunately, Manchester is responding with its version of Beowulf’s iron resolve.

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The Book Apothecary Has What You Need

Nina George’s “Little Paris Bookshop” has a great premise: a “book apothecary” diagnoses the souls of his customers and prescribes the perfect book. In my experience, matching books with readers is a more hit and miss affair.

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Something Rotten in the States of America

There is something rotten in Denmark and something rotten in the White House. The parallels between “Hamlet” and Trumpism are considerable.

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My Teaching Mission: Keeping It Real

In which I reflect back upon my teaching career and focusing on my students “keeping it real.”

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