Tag Archives: libraries

No Frigate Like a Book

Friday To end the week, I share one of Ilya Milstein’s enchanting illustrations, along with the Emily Dickinson poem that it reminds me of. We start off in a library and, next thing we know, we have been transported “lands away.” I haven’t always admired “There is no frigate like a book,” perhaps because I […]

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What Our Libraries Reveal about Us

Merging my library with my father’s have given me a new appreciation for him.

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A World of Books amid a World of Green

Treat yourself to two delightful poems about books and gardens by the Victorian/Edwardian poet Richard Le Gallienne.

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A Poem in Praise of Libraries

In his new collection of poems, Norman Finkelstein has one of the best poems I have encountered about libraries. The poem captures the paradoxical nature of libraries, how they both preserve the past but look forward to the future.

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Listen Carefully–The Books Are Whispering

I gave a talk last night to Leonardtown, Maryland’s Friends of the Library about—surprise!–“How Literature Can Change Your Life.” It was a busy day, what with writing the talk and turning in final grades and going to one last committee meeting and attending a retirement party (for which I wrote a bit of doggerel) and […]

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The Liberating Power of Yo-Yos

In this Scott Bates fantasy, a renegade scholar breaks library protocol with a bright red yo-yo.

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Fight the Power, Check Out a Book

Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night is an unusual combination of fact and reflection, probing the nature and meaning of libraries.

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Our Inner Library: A Quiz

Last semester my Ljubljana friend Jason Blake sent me a passage from Alberto Manguel’s novel The Library at Night. A colleague of Jason’s was trying to identify all the literary allusions and was stuck on “first centenary encounter with ice.” It took me a while but I think I was able to identify it correctly, […]

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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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