For Such a Time as This: “Casting Off”

None of us willingly chooses to live life without safety and happiness. Those ideas permeate our very Declaration of Independence. Only fools, anarchists, or sadomasochists would welcome perpetual danger, fear, and sorrow. And yet, setting up safety and happiness as the sole pillars for living are weak constructs at best. I’ve commented on this veryContinue reading “For Such a Time as This: “Casting Off””

The American Crisis: The Timeless Wisdom of Thomas Paine

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us,Continue reading “The American Crisis: The Timeless Wisdom of Thomas Paine”

For Such a Time as This: “Ballad for the Obdurate”

Obdurate (adj): stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing, hardened in feelings; resistant to persuasion or softening influences https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obdurate Let’s be honest. We all have the propensity to choose the narrative we want to believe and refuse to consider other perspectives. But what concerns me is the growing trend to remove access to any dissenting point of view.Continue reading “For Such a Time as This: “Ballad for the Obdurate””

Father’s Day Blessing from Gerard Manley Hopkins

This Father’s Day I had planned to post a poem I wrote in honor of my Italian father and grandfather a few years back, but this morning I heard the phrase “fathers-forth” in my heart. Deep within me the voice of Gerard Manley Hopkins echoed and I knew that today was a day for PiedContinue reading “Father’s Day Blessing from Gerard Manley Hopkins”

Insight from the Inklings

Sometimes, Middle-earth and Perelandra don’t seem so far away! Over the weekend, my friend Kyle mentioned returning to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and McCullough’s John Adams for inspiration. They spoke to him of enduring hardship to build a better future. At the same time, I’ve been revisiting The Lord of the Rings filmsContinue reading “Insight from the Inklings”

The Eternal Timely Genius of Wendell Berry

The deepening wells of literature are abundant for those who still care to read, and though I have a long list of works I intend to share here, from T. S. Eliot to Herman Melville, I return to one of my favorites: Wendell Berry. If you’ve been to my site before, you’ll know Berry isContinue reading “The Eternal Timely Genius of Wendell Berry”

David Hernandez’s “Happiness Epidemic”

During this time of online learning for my students, I came across this poem in the final unit for my AP English Literature & Composition course. The unit focuses on the use of figurative language: simile, metaphor, and personification. Little did the creators of the course know that this poem would be so timely! It’sContinue reading “David Hernandez’s “Happiness Epidemic””

Mary Oliver’s “A Dream of Trees”

My wife came across this gem by Mary Oliver, who died just a little over a year ago. I first encountered Oliver’s work in “The Black Walnut Tree” as a free response question on the AP English Literature exam. Since then, I’ve been starving for more Oliver! This piece is just what the doctor orderedContinue reading “Mary Oliver’s “A Dream of Trees””