Category Archives: Whitman (Walt)

Can Lit Save American Democracy?

Looking at an America that seemed to be falling apart and experiencing hollowness, Walt Whitman called for more literature.

Posted in Whitman (Walt) | Leave a comment

Sleeping Outdoors

Poetry adds an extra dimension to sleeping outdoors.

Also posted in Frost (Robert), O'Donohue (John), Oliver (Mary), Thomas (Dylan), Yeats (William Butler) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Teacher, Lit, & a Jailed Student

In “Reading with Patrick,” English teacher Michelle Kuo works with a student in 8th grade and then later after he has killed a man. The story brings up questions about lit’s impact.

Also posted in Baum (L. Frank), Lewis (C. S.), Robinson (Marilynne) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poems To Mourn a Russian History Prof

When a Russian history professor died at our college, his colleagues turned to poetry as they wrestled with his premature death. Ovid, Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Turgenev, and Walt Whitman provided powerful words.

Also posted in Ovid, Pushkin (Alexander), Turgenev (Ivan) | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

America’s Dream: We Contain Multitudes

My Trinidadian daughter-in-law today becomes an American citizen. I welcome her with an excerpt from Whitman’s “Song of Myself” that contains multitudes.

Posted in Whitman (Walt) | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Medicine & Lit, Working Together

Paul Kalinithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” represents an ideal blending of science and the humanities, including literature. It’s a book we all should be reading.

Posted in Whitman (Walt) | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Memorial Day: I Am the Grass, I Cover All

Carl Sandburg’s outward stoicism masks a deep grief as he memorializes those killed in battle in “Grass.”

Also posted in Sandburg (Carl), Seeger (Pete) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mourning the Death of “Captain” Lincoln

“Oh Captain! My Captain,” mourning the death of Lincoln 150 years ago today, was Whitman’s most popular poem.

Posted in Whitman (Walt) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Whitman’s Poem a Lesson for War Hawks

In “The Wound-Binder,” Walt Whitman refuses to glorify war and only shows its bloody aftermath–a good thing to remember on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s final day.

Posted in Whitman (Walt) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

  • AVAILABLE NOW!

  • 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.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!