Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are We Overanalyzing Trump?

Monday My son gave me a tough-love talk about my writing at a wedding reception this past Saturday afternoon. We were in Iowa together for my wife’s nephew and Darien took a few moments to express doubts about book he is helping me self-publish. While he is a big supporter of the blog, he worries […]

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The Wine of Love Is Music

Spiritual Sunday I attended a joyous Des Moines wedding yesterday, one where the bride, an avid runner, wore running shoes. The groom is a runner as well. Things promise well. Here’s a lovely wedding poem by the 18th century poet James Thomson, author of The Seasons and “Rule, Britannia.” I send it out to all […]

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To My First Love, My Mother

Spiritual Sunday Christina Rossetti honors her mother with this unorthodox sonnet that speaks for itself. The “blessed glow” of Mother Love “transcends the laws/ Of time and change and mortal life and death.” Apparently Rossetti’s mother encouraged her in her sonnet writing, giving the poem additional resonance. Happy Mother’s Day to the many mothers in […]

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A Poem for International Workers’ Day

Wednesday – May 1 Despite incessant GOP attacks on unions with their Orwellian-named “right to work laws,” increasing income inequality may push Democrats to aggressively push for more actual workers’ rights. I was struck that Joe Biden, in announcing his presidential bid, said he was “sick of this President badmouthing unions.” Later he tweeted, “Labor […]

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Libraries, Critical to Democracy

Tuesday Today’s post is a belated celebration of Library Week (April 7-13), which generated several articles worthy of mention. In a substantive New Review of Books essay (and what essay in that august publication is ever non-substantive?), Sue Halpern reviews several books about public libraries. I particularly liked an observation drawn both from her personal […]

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We Have Here the Stuff of Paradise

Spiritual Sunday Spring has broken all over southern Tennessee, giving me the occasion to run Edwin Markham’s wonderful “Earth Is Enough.” His view, I believe, is similar to what Jesus meant by heaven on earth. We are to find heaven in ourselves and heaven in our surroundings, not wait until we die. To focus overmuch […]

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How Vonnegut Faced His Demons

Thursday To honor the 50th anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, I am reposting an essay about how Vonnegut used science fiction to come to terms with the Battle of the Bulge and the Dresden bombing, both of which he experienced first-hand. I owe the ideas to student Chris Hammond, who devoted his senior project […]

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An Irish Poet Blasts Brexit

Tuesday When The Irish Times interviewed several Irish authors about Brexit, one of them responded with a lyric. In dark and confusing times, poetry steps up. It makes sense that Irish authors would weigh in since the Emerald Isle, especially Northern Ireland, has more at stake than almost anyone else. The border between the two […]

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Same-Sex Desire in the Sonnets

Wednesday If you want a one-stop article about the same-sex desire expressed in Shakespeare’s first 126 sonnets, Sandra Newman’s recent Aeon article is the place to go. Newman neatly summarizes the historical debates over the sonnets and pretty much puts the matter to rest: they really are expressions of homosexual love from Shakespeare to a […]

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