Postings by Shelley NiTuama

Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

“Syringa vulgaris” (common Lilac) cultivar, LtPowers, May 2013
“Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves,I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with       spring.”Walt Whitman may well have been describing his own vocation when he articulated his belief that literature could be a unifying force for the nation as it began its long road to healing from the scars of civil war:Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Telling America’s Stories with Quilts

Harriet Powers’s pictorial quilt 1898. Wikimedia Commons.
“We Americans have adopted quilts as a symbol of what we value about ourselves and our national history,” —Laurel Horton, “Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Late 20th century.”Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Walking the line in spring with Robert Frost: “Mending Wall”

Photograph of a low stone wall on farmland in Derry, N.H
“My poems—I should suppose everybody's poems—are all set to trip the reader head foremost into the boundless. Ever since infancy I have had the habit of leaving my blocks carts chairs and such like ordinaries where people would be pretty sure to fall forward over them in the dark. Forward, you understand, and in the dark. I may leave my toys in the wrong place and so in vain. It is my intention we are speaking of—my innate mischievousness.” —Robert FrostRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

Finding Archetypes in Beauty and the Beast

An illustrátion by Warwick Goble for Beauty and the Beast, 1913
The appeal of the Beauty and the Beast story, with its accent on compassion and the universal message “love conquers all,” transcends the boundaries of age and time. It continues to delight young and old, generation after generation, through its many adaptations.Read More »

American Literature Selections

Willa Cather homestead, rural Webster County, Nebraska
“American literature has never been content to be just one among the many literatures of the Western World. It has always aspired to be the literature not only of a new continent but of a New World.” —Christopher DawsonRead More »
Categories Closer Readings