How Poe Wrote “The Raven”

“The Raven” (1845) is a poem nobody can escape. Whether you had to memorize certain stanzas or just participate in a read-aloud session in seventh-grade English class, it is a classic poem you likely haven’t missed and one you likely haven’t forgotten. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the repetitious words at the end... Continue Reading →

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A. S. Byatt’s Possession: The Secret Love Lives of Dead Poets

Possession (1990), number 80 on the BBC book list, by A. S. Byatt is a literary thriller about academics.  White it has been highly acclaimed and even has status as a bestseller, I wondered if everybody could truly like or enjoy this book, or if only bibliophiles, English majors, and academics would be drawn to... Continue Reading →

There Is a Bicycle Named Hepzibah

I had to finish reading The House of The Seven Gables (1851) by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) so I could tell you about my neighbor who named his bicycle Hepzibah.  He’s an older gentleman, a little stout, and extremely smart.  (His wife once told me that he had been a national merit scholar at... Continue Reading →

How to Train Your . . . White Whale?

My only in-person experience with white whales occurred at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when a male beluga whale aggressively chased the female whale in the tank, alternately poking out and pulling in his male member.  I know, pretty gross.  Watching the birds and the bees in action was memorable and fascinating to... Continue Reading →

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