Tag Archives: Children

Learning to Feel the Sea

Jennifer Michael’s luminescent poem “Opening the Hand” describes how she first experienced the power of the sea.

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Read to Grapple with Climate Change

Sian Cain uses literature to grapple with her decision, in light of climate change, not to have children.

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Books Gave Me a Refuge

Tuesday I’ve been dipping into A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, given to me by my good friend Sue Schmidt and recommended by reader Glenda Funk. A range of writers, artists, scientists, philosophers and others were asked to write a letter to young people about the value of reading. Original illustrations accompany […]

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He Comes to Shatter Expectation

Spiritual Sunday Anyone with children knows the chaos they bring into one’s life. Even when they arrive longed for and expected, the parents have no idea what they are in for. This surprise factor is at the basis of a lovely Advent poem–published in the Southern Poetry Review–by my friend Jennifer Michael, currently chair of Sewanee’s English […]

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When the World Is Mud-Luscious

e. e. cummings ushers in spring with a joyous celebration.

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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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Child Heroines Who Die for Our Sins

The child heroine who dies, a common trope in the 19th century, continues to fascinate us, appearing in “Bridge to Tarabithia” and “The Fault Is in Our Stars.” One of my students has this as a senior project topic.

Posted in Alcott (Louisa May), Bronte (Charlotte), Dickens (Charles), Paterson (Katherine), Poe (Edgar Allan), Stowe (Harriet Beecher) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Children Wrestling with Faith & Doubt

Alice Munro’s “Age of Faith” is a powerful portrait of how children turn to God–and also why they turn away.

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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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