Category Archives: Bates (Julia)

Twilight, Evening Bell, After That the Dark

I share Tennyson’s wonderful poem “Crossing the Bar” in memory of an old Navy friend who died this past week.

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The Witch that Walks in the Fields of Spring

Here’s a poetic warning that my wife directs to those who close their eyes to the miracle of May that is exploding all around us.  Maybe we miss out on spring because we are plugged into our iPods or talking on our cell phones or texting.  Or for that matter, blogging. Ignoring spring requires a […]

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Dear Son, Far Off, My Lost Desire

I understand more with each passing year what Tennyson means when he says his love “is vaster passion now” and how Hallam is thoroughly mixed with God and nature. Tennyson goes on to say that the moral will of humankind—the “living will” that is the best part of ourselves as a people—can finding footing on this spiritual rock. And that the living water that springs from this rock will “flow through our deeds and make them pure.”

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Purchasing Stockings: A 1950’s Memory

What with Qaddafi slaughtering his people in Libya and workers up in (metaphorical) arms in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio, the world seems a chaotic place at the moment.  Today, for respite, I offer a poem that will take you to a quieter time–quieter, that is, if you remember your childhood as being a quieter time. […]

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A Delicious Poem for Your True Love

My wife was sitting at a stoplight a few years ago when she heard a National Public Radio story about a fifth taste, the other four being sweet, sour, bitter and salty.  Often we know it by the name given it by the Japanese, who first identified it early in the 20th century, although we […]

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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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