Category Archives: Blake (William)

Pullman Is of the Devil’s Party

Philip Pullman based “Dark Materials” on “Paradise Lost” but came up with a theological muddle.

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Relationship Advice from Blake

Blake’s “Clod and the Pebble” warn us to steer between two opposite dangers in our relationships.

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Cherish the Angel at Your Door

William Blake’s “Holy Thursday” poems challenges those members of Congress voting to cut food stamps.

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God Dwells in Mercy, Pity, Peace, Love

Pope Francis ! might well embrace the vision of love found in Blake’s “Divine Image.”

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My Father Piped Songs of Pleasant Glee

As I read my dying father poems from Blake’s “Songs of Innocence,” I relived cherished memories.

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The Zen of an Old Growth Forest

Biologist David Haskell approaches forests in a way that is both scientific and poetic.

Also posted in Emerson (Ralph Waldo), Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Thoreau (Henry David) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Drones Put Heaven in a Rage

This Scott Bates poem protesting aerial killing machines could apply to today’s drone program.

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My Heart Leapt Up

A rainbow sighting led to a discussion about how humans often turn to nature for guiding metaphors.

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Songs of Innocence Destroyed

Blake captures the tragic clash between childhood innocence and worldly corruption that we witnessed in Sandy Hook.

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Lit Featured in Olympic Ceremonies

The opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics were rich in literary allusions.

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To Esmé and Alban with Love (No Squalor)

With names from Salinger and Blake, my two new grandchildren have promising destinies.

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Campaign 2012: Assorted Lit Allusions

Literary allusions are flying fast and free in this primary season.

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Read Blake, Stand Up to Your Boss

Businessman David Whyte turns to poetry to hold on to his soul in the corporate world.

Also posted in Rilke (Rainer Maria) | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jerusalem in a Green and Pleasant Land

William Blake’s “Jerusalem” has been used for both religious and patriotic purposes. One must negotiate the relationship between religion and politics very closely since God can get bent to serve narrow agendas, and this poem is frequently misinterpreted.

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Spain’s Tiger Burning Less Bright

Did the god that made the elegant strokes of Roger Federer also make the bruising style of Nadal? Like William Blake gazing at the lamb and the tiger in “Tyger, Tyger,” we can only shake our heads bemused.

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Poetry Often Prefers Losers

Young McIlroy, bidding to become the youngest golfer to win the Master’s since, yes, Tiger, found himself cast in the role of Icarus. Flying close to the bright sun of fame, the wax in his wings melted and he plummeted to earth in a debacle that scorched the eyes to watch.

Also posted in Kipling (Rudyard), Marlowe (Christopher), Shakespeare (William) | Comments closed

Walt Whitman, William Blake, and Baseball

Film Friday The World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants gives me an excuse for posting on what is, in my opinion, the greatest movie on baseball. Among the many virtues of Ron Shelton’s Bull Durham are its literary allusions and its literariness. Each year Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) chooses to […]

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The Church and the Chimney-Sweep’s Cry

In his August 29 Washington Mall speech, rightwing television commentator Glenn Beck attacked (among other things) the notion that Christianity should be concerned with issues of social justice. He accused Barack Obama and liberation theology of distorting Jesus’s message. For the President, Beck said, it’s all about victims and victimhood; oppressors and the oppressed; reparations, […]

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Seeking a Spiritual Connection with Nature

from Songs of Innocence and Experience  My Introduction to Literature class (focus on Nature) has just moved from Robinson Crusoe to William Blake, and we are seeing in the 18th century a  conflict similar to one we are witnessing today over the environment. Defoe’s protagonist is an advocate of the “drill, baby, drill” approach to nature although, […]

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