Category Archives: Auden (W. H.)

The Spurs as Auden’s Unknown Citizen

The San Antonio Spurs as so perfect that they’re boring–like Auden’s “Unknown Citizen.”

Posted in Auden (W. H.) | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Thought That Love Would Last Forever…

The death of a beloved cousin is throwing me into the primal pain described by Tennyson and Auden.

Also posted in Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Time of Rare Beasts, Unique Adventures

Spirit may seem less accessible after Christmas is over, Auden tells us, but that means we should focus all the more on seeking it out.

Posted in Auden (W. H.) | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Perfection and Poetry of Tyrants

W. H. Auden’s chilling “Epitaph on a Tyrant” matter-of-factly shows the deadly but seductive simplicity that characterizes dictators like Qaddafi and Assad.

Posted in Auden (W. H.) | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Back in the Day, We Parsed Sentences

Time was when grammar was king in the public schools. It didn’t seem to matter whether a student’s writing was interesting but whether it was correct. Then came the “process writing movement” and (in the lower grades) the “creative spelling movement.” The design was to unlock the writing energies that were being stifled by an […]

Also posted in Wright (Richard) | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

A Death Poem Must Acknowledge the Pain

For today’s entry on poems that can come to our aid when we are confronting death, I will be looking at two. In both poems, the speaker has lost a loved one. One of them, which I have known and loved since high school and whose sentiments I agree with, now angers me. The other, […]

Also posted in Burns (Robert) | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Poetry in the Face of Death

  Because of my concerns over my friend Alan and his cancer, I will spend another week looking at the role that poetry can play as we confront death and dying. Today’s entry describes how poetry made its way into my life following the death of my son Justin, described in last week’s opening entry […]

Also posted in Borges (Jorge Luis), Oliver (Mary) | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

  • 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!
  • Twitter Authentication data is incomplete