Category Archives: Longfellow (Henry Wadsworth)

Love’s Wavering Image

Spiritual Sunday I share a lovely Longfellow poem about gazing into dark waters, featuring the hypnotic rhythm and rhyme that we associate with the poet.  The speaker recalls a time in the past when he was depressed and wished the tide would carry him away. He no longer feels that way but imagines others experiencing […]

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Mourning the Loss of a Son

Longfellow turned to the story of Absolom to console a friend who had lost a son. “Chamber over the Gate” captures the grief in a supportive way.

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Personal News: A 2018 Retirement

In June 2018, after 38 years of teaching college, I will retire. I don’t want to go out like Walter Savage Landor’s old man–“the fire is low

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Tales of the Wayside Inn

A visit to the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts made me aware of Longfellow’s collection “Tales from the Wayside Inn.” Like Longfellow’s storytellers, I had a good time there.

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Footprints on the Sands of Time

Longfellow’s “Psalm of Life” quotes from today’s Gospel reading–“let the dead bury their own dead”–in ways that help illuminate Jesus’s message.

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What Draws Kids to Eating Dramas

Eating stories enthrall my grandchildren because they reenact the childhood drama of separating from the parents and developing autonomous selves.

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The Pleasure of a Pathless Wood

For Americans, wilderness is a more unkempt affair than it for Europeans.

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The Miraculous Ride of Tom Brady

If they win the Super Bowl, Brady and Belichick will become as legendary in the sports world as that patriot of old, Paul Revere.

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The Children’s Hour, Pros and Cons

Longfellow’s “Children’s Hour” may be overly sentimental but, as I played with my grandson, I found myself not caring.

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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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