A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say The breath goes now, and some say, No: So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; ‘Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love.* Revelation 3:1–6 […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 5

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Satire is at once funny and uncomfortable.  G.K. Chesterton said “A man is angry at a libel because it is false, but at a satire because it is true.” As Karen […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 4

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Mother Teresa said “Some people come into your life as blessings, some come as lessons.” We smile at that because we have all had to deal with difficult people and many lessons have been […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 3

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Maya Angelou said “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”  This sounds like common sense but many relationships fail because they were founded on the basis of […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 2

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Chapter 7 of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me deals with symbols, including specifically their relation to sex.  Here we find the dangerous divide between imagined and real freedom.  The […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 1

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” This week we look to Jonathan Swift and his masterwork Gulliver’s Travels.  The story is familiar, but widely misunderstood.  Like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the sanitized and highly abridged version consumed by […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 5

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘Forgive me as you are forgiven! I forgive YOU, Angel.’                              ‘You—yes, you do.’ ‘But you do not forgive me?’                                                                                   ‘O Tess, forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person;  now you are another. My God—how can forgiveness meet such a grotesque-prestidigitation as that!’                                                                                                         He […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 4

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘I cannot help associating your decline as a family with this other fact—of your want of firmness. Decrepit families imply decrepit wills, decrepit conduct. Heaven, why did you give me a handle for despising you more by informing me of your descent! Here was I thinking you a new-sprung […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 2

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed. College years have always been a challenge to young people.  The newness of independent living combined with an environment designed to stretch their understanding and awareness is often […]