Monthly Archives: December 2020

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

Tennyson and Longfellow have poems about bells ringing out an age of sin and suffering and ringing in new hope. Let them ring.

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Post of the Year: Plagues in Literature

A survey of literature through the ages that has dealt with plagues.

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Jesus and the Egyptian Gods

Jesus’s flight into Egypt resonates with the symbolism of multiple religions.

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Scrooge, a GOP Hero

Republicans are once again defending Scrooge and for good reason: when it comes to wealth inequality, he’s their model.

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Trump & Chaucer’s Pardoner, Both Corrupt

Trump’s abuse of the pardon system invites comparisons with the behavior of Chaucer’s Pardoner and Summoner.

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I Never Saw a Sweeter Child

Dorothy Parker and Scott Bates have poems that see the nativity from the vantage point of commoners.

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A Star Has Fallen, to Blossom from a Tomb

John Heath-Stubbs’s “On the Nativity” is one of my favorite Christmas poems.

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Ms. Claus, Environmental Activist

Scott Bates’s Mrs. Santa Claus poems push environmental and peace themes. The next few posts consist of some of these poems.

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Ragnarok, an Extreme Weather Event

Gaiman’s account of the Norse apocalypse Ragnarok comes close to describing a world destroyed by climate change.

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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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