Category Archives: Keats (John)

Reading Lit through the Eyes of Others

Reading literature through the eyes of others brings special pleasures and insights.

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Art Is the Path to Liberation

Nick Brown, a very bright philosophy and English double major, reflects on how to live a worthwhile life. An aesthetic approach to life is at the core of his argument.

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Fantasy Provides Aid for Life’s Storms

As a child who grew up immersed in fantasy fiction, I knew, as deeply as I knew anything, that these books put me in touch with something that was deep and true. As I grew up, of course, I learned that I had to move beyond fantasy just as I had to move beyond childhood. […]

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Using Lit to Predict the Weather

Last week, while discussing “The Tempest,” we experienced a literal tempest. Expect cold temperatures today as I’m teaching “Eve of St. Agnes.”

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The Song of Night’s Sweet Bird

Shelley’s elegy to Keats, “Adonais,” gives us a rich vision of our relationship with death.

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Half in Love with Easeful Death

In his haunting “Ode to a Nightingale,” Keats imagines himself as a homesick Ruth standing “amid the alien corn.”

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Fantasy, Because Reality Is Unsatisfactory

Fantasy is nothing in and of itself but takes its character in opposition to an unsatisfactory reality.

Also posted in Lewis (C. S.), Shakespeare (William), Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jeremy Lin Speaks Out Loud and Bold

See explosive Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin appear from nowhere brings to mind the Keats poem “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer.”

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Once We Memorized Poetry

Memorizing poetry used to be standard classroom practice and poetry was widely popular before the snobs came in.

Also posted in Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Kilmer (Joyce), Kipling (Rudyard), Riley (James Whitcomb), Shelley (Percy), Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Wordsworth (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Advice to Freshmen – Negative Capability

Developing what John Keats described as negative capability can help students be more successful in college.

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What Fictional Fantasy Means

Having taught British Fantasy Literature for the first time last semester, I need to think back on it before it becomes a distant memory.    By reflecting publicly, I can share some of the insights I gained from the course. Two major things I learned are that (1) fantasy is an oppositional genre—by which I […]

Also posted in Andersen (Hans Christian), Barrie (J. M.), Carroll (Lewis), Chaucer (Geoffrey), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Dickens (Charles), Grahame (Kenneth), Grimm Brothers, Haggard (Rider), Kipling (Rudyard), Rossetti (Christina), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Season of Mellow Fruitfulness

In Southern Maryland our eternal summer appears finally to be fading and the fall, my favorite season, is a’cumin in. To celebrate it, I am posting one of my favorite seasonal poems, John Keats’ “To Autumn” (1817). The poem takes on added significance as the news continues to get worse for my friend Alan. Despite […]

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Thy Eternal Summer Shall Not Fade–True?

Sunday evenings are for visiting our friends Alan and Jackie.  I feel blessed that Alan is sharing his dying with us and that I get to have with him the final conversations I did not have with Justin, my son who drowned. We don’t talk that much about death. Mostly we talk, as we always […]

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Moving Beyond Adolescent Fantasies

Sometimes I will discover that two different works start talking to each other simply because I happen to be teaching them both at the same time. This week Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (from my Jane Austen first year seminar) and John Keats’ Eve of St. Agnes (from my British fantasy course) engaged in one of […]

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Dancing to a Bright Star

Film Friday As this is Friday, I begin with a discussion of a film.  But as it is also the tenth anniversary of the drowning death of my 21-year-old son Justin, I plan to digress.  I trust you will allow me to embark on a bit of a ramble. The film I have chosen is […]

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