Tag Archives: Scott Bates

Spring’s Triumph over War

In Henry Reed’s “Naming of Parts,” sexual spring wins out over a bureaucratic drill sergeant.

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Cats as Transformation Artists

This Jean Cocteau poems captures the mercurial nature of cats.

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Christmas Bird Count from Santa’s Sleigh

This joyous Scott Bates birdwatching poem imagines Santa’s Blitzen involved in Audubon’s annual tally.

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Where Are the Games of Yesteryear?

Christmas I shared “Ballad of the Games of Yesteryear” this past spring when my father temporarily lapsed into dementia. But he wrote it as a Christmas poem and so I’m posting it again as I mourn the first Christmas spent without him. Now that he is dead, the poem contains special meaning, echoing as it […]

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Letters from Mrs. Santa Claus

Two Scott Bates Christmas poems show Santa on the move, thanks to the melting of the polar ice caps.

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If Oz Became Modern Day America

This Scott Bates poem revisits the Land of Oz and finds that modern America has broken out.

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Two Parables Involving Falling Leaves

Scott Bates and Lucille Clifton find poetic lessons in falling leaves.

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Trippin’ Out and Dreamin’ of Utopia

This psychedelic Scott Bates poem, written in 1970, dreams of a better world.

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My Father Moved through Dooms of Love

At my father’s memorial service, we read poems by e.e. cummings, Shakespeare, Jacques Prévert, and my father himself.

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Farewell to the Boy with the Golden Crown

Yesterday at my father’s memorial service I read ones of his poems about the recurrent cycle of life.

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For My Father’s Funeral, Go Out Singing

My father would have loved that his funeral service will conclude with this Jacques Prévert poem.

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My Father’s Love Song to Phoebe

For my mother’s birthday, I post a love poem written to her by my late father 67 years ago.

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The Killer Always Comes Back

This Scott Bates poem explores the dark side of those Americans that are drawn to guns and gun violence.

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In Praise of Irreverent Squirrels

This Scott Bates poem about autumn also captures his irreverence for authority.

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Ballad of a Nun, a Bordello, and Mary

Scott Bates’ “Ballad of Thoughtful Love” retells a medieval fable about a nun-turned-whore who is saved by the Virgin Mary.

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What Light Verse Meant to Scott Bates

My father used light verse to stay optimistic in the face of a grim reality.

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Moving through Death’s Doorway

My father’s poem about Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” is comforting me as he slides towards death.

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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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Fable of the Rose and the Vine

This Scott Bates fable sings the praises of individual vision.

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Getting Lost in One’s Research

A fanatical scholar loses himself–literally–in his research.

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Memories of Summer Hiking in France

This summer poem by Scott Bates brings back childhood memories of hiking in the hills around the Mediterranean.

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The Transcendental Meaning of Pizza

Scott Bates describes the sacramental dimensions of devouring pizza.

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Poets Unacknowledged Legislators? Maybe

A debate on whether poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

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Lesson of War: Fear + Fear = Hate

Two Scott Bates poems get at the dark days in America following World War II.

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A Sleepy Bird Dog Ballad

Here’s a fun poem about a sleepy hunting dog, written many years ago by Scott Bates in the regional dialect tradition.

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Ain’t gonna let the SC turn me ’round

The Supreme Court’s assault on the Voting Rights Act means we may have to break out the old freedom songs again.

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Everyperson’s Environmental E-Car

Scott Bates, cheerleading for solar power and electric cars.

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The Ballad of Bathtub Gin

“The Ballad of Bathtub Gin” looks back to the days of Appalachian moonshine.

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Where Are the Toys of Yesteryear?

Where are the toys of yesteryear? Such is the lament of this poem by Scott Bates.

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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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Through WWII, My Father Carried Poetry

Literature played a major role in my father’s World War II experiences.

Posted in Bates (Scott), Caldwell (Erskine), Graves (Robert), Hemingway (Ernest), Hersey (John) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment


  • 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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