Tag Archives: Odyssey

Bob Dylan, Gifted Storyteller

Bob Dylan, in his Nobel Acceptance Speech, made it clear that literary influences are as big in his song writing as musical influences.

Posted in Dylan (Bob), Homer, Melville (Herman), Remarque (Erich Maria) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fantasy, a Portal to the Numinous

People are often drawn to fantasy in our post-Enlightenment world because they hunger for the numinous.

Posted in Homer, Pullman (Philip), Sharp (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Liberal Arts Will Not Die

Thursday My colleague Jeff Hammond, a national authority on Puritan poetry and a much lauded writer of reflective essays, recently gave a stirring defense of the liberal arts for our parents-alumni weekend. Jeff’s observations dovetail very nicely with Percy Shelley’s Defence of Poetry, which I happen to be teaching at the moment. Watching poetry getting […]

Posted in Homer, Shakespeare (William), Shelley (Percy) | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defending Homer against Plato

Plato’s attacks on Homer have to do with the bard’s focus earthly concerns rather than higher ones. Following Plato’s prescriptions, however, will not produce very interesting poetry.

Posted in Fielding (Henry), Homer | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Homer’s Warning about Revenge Killings

What will it take to bring peace between police and black communities? Homer has a vision of such a truce at the end of “The Odyssey” but it may not be realistic.

Posted in Clifton (Lucille), Homer, Silko (Leslie Marmon) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump’s Use of the Homeric Epithet

Donald Trump is making regular use of “the Homeric epithet.” He doesn’t use it as well as Homer, however.

Posted in Homer | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Pin Down Protean Donald Trump

Trying to pin down Donald Trump is like trying to pin down Proteus. But maybe that means that reporters can use the same tactics that Menelaus does to capture the sea god.

Posted in Homer | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Peyton: Old Age Hath Yet His Honor

Two narratives clash on Super Bowl Sunday: the return of the king vs. the aging king that must be overthrown. Is Peyton Manning Odysseus and the Panthers the suitors? Or is he the dragon who must yield to the next generation?

Posted in Homer, Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Odyssey Speaks to Today’s Refugees

“The Odyssey” looked different to a literature teacher after he taught it to a class of Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian refugees. Homer’s poem challenges us to open our own hearts to those fleeing persecution and war.

Posted in Homer | Also 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!