Tag Archives: "Blossom"

Frogs Everywhere Shouting Their Desire

Friday Warm weather looks like it is finally here for good in southern Tennessee, and the frogs are out in force. My biology students inform me, whenever I teach Mary Oliver’s “Blossom,” that all the peeping and croaking is designed to attract a mate. Well aware of this, Oliver appears to have written her poem […]

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R.I.P. Mary Oliver, Bride of Amazement

Friday Mary Oliver, who died yesterday, may have been America’s favorite poet. I taught her Pulitzer Prize-winning American Primitive for over 20 years in a nature-focused Introduction to Literature class and so have seen up close her impact on readers. When death has entered my own life, I have often turned to Oliver’s poetry. For […]

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Why Read Lit? Let Me Count the Reasons

I grapple today about why it is essential to read lit. And what happens to us when we don’t.

Posted in Krauss (Nicole), Milton (John), Oliver (Mary), Williams (William Carlos) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


  • 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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