Monthly Archives: August 2020

Choose Honey over Race Hatred

Audre Lorde captures the utter waste when we descend into violence, a good message for the race hatred we are witnessing around the country.

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Novels That Predicted a Trump

Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” and Roth’s “Plot against America” do a very good job of predicting a Donald Trump.

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Without Nature, No Language for Soul

In an age when we are exhausted by apocalyptic rhetoric, Richard Wilbur provides a poem that remind us of how much we owe to natural beauty.

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Obama: From Patience to Fury

Dryden’s “beware the fury of a patient man” applies to the speech that Obama gave last week at the Democratic National Convention.

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The USPS and Conspiracy Theories

As controversies swirl around the postal service, Pynchon’s “Crying of Lot 49” seems relevant. So does Welty’s “Why I Live at the P.O.”

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Does Lit Lead to Illicit Sex?

Dante’s beautifully tragic account of Paolo and Francesca captures–as many great works do–the dangers of total absorption in a relationship.

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A Poem Brought to You by the Letter C

This playful poem by my father about a rebellious letter C makes me wish he had been able to share his poetry with my grandson.

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Children’s Natural Affinity for Poetry

I describe here the remote poetry instruction I have been conducting with my 8-year-old grandson for the past four months.

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A Weary Pilgrim, Now at Rest

An Anne Bradstreet poem captures some of the spirit of the funeral for a close friend.

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  • 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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