Category Archives: Shelley (Percy)

When Science Clips an Angel’s Wings

Scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins disagrees with Keats and Poe in their attacks on science. I think he loses the argument.

Also posted in Blake (William), Keats (John), Poe (Edgar Allan) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rachel Kranz, R. I. P.

When my best friend Rachel Kranz died yesterday. I turned to Shelley’s “Adonais” for comfort.

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A Dear Friend Is Made One with Nature

My dear, dear friend Kate Chandler died yesterday. I am turning to Percy Shelley’s, a poem she loved, as I mourn her.

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Favorite Lit of Our Presidents

What was the favorite literature of the American presidents? I look at works that drew them (up through Franklin Roosevelt–the rest will follow tomorrow) and speculate on why.

Also posted in Addison (Joseph), Bulwer-Lytton (Edward), Byron (Lord Gordon), Cooper (James Fenimore), Defoe (Daniel), Dickens (Charles), Goldsmith (Oliver), Irving (Washington), Pope (Alexander), Robinson (Edward Arlington), Scott (Sir Walter), Shakespeare (William), Swift (Jonathan) | Leave a comment

In Defense of The Merchant of Venice

Percy Shelley believes that great art transcends the prejudices of its time, even when it is cloaked in them. If he is right, then “Merchant of Venice” is less of a problem play than many people consider it.

Also posted in Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Liberal Arts Will Not Die

Thursday My colleague Jeff Hammond, a national authority on Puritan poetry and a much lauded writer of reflective essays, recently gave a stirring defense of the liberal arts for our parents-alumni weekend. Jeff’s observations dovetail very nicely with Percy Shelley’s Defence of Poetry, which I happen to be teaching at the moment. Watching poetry getting […]

Also posted in Homer, Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Exam Poems To Lift Your Spirits

For students encounter end-of-semester pressure, here are two comic poems about exams. Laughter is an important resource for you at the moment.

Also posted in Bevington (Helen), Browning (Elizabeth Barrett), Keats (John), Townshend (F. H.), Wordsworth (William), Yeats (William Butler) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Can Lit Also Be a Force for Evil? A Debate

The classics are capable to doing great good but can they also do harm? Even as they powerfully open up the mind to new possibilities, can they also close it down? A debate.

Also posted in Aristotle, Austen (Jane), Plato, Sidney (Sir Philip) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How Poets Are the Legislators of the World

Shelley saw great literature as changing the way we see reality. Sometimes, however, it takes hundreds of years for this to be evident.

Posted in Shelley (Percy) | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

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