Shifting positions and perceptions in a weary world at a Walt Whitman Poetry Contest in Camden, New Jersey

Whitman’s grave resides across the street where the author was born — Our Lady of Lourdes. Photo by author.

“Camden was originally an accident, but I shall never be sorry I was left over in Camden. It has brought me blessed returns.”- Walt Whitman

As a teacher, I’m not used to being tested. And I’m definitely not familiar with failing. …


Freedoms often collide, creating accidental martyrs in modern American

Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Lanis Rossi, used with permission.

Readers please note: this fictional story includes a description of sexual assault.

The kids were returning to school when we heard the news. The Philadelphia Inquirer called him Socrates of Rittenhouse Square. For us, that front-page story has been our everyday story. …

The Appeal and the Tragedy of the South

The Sinking of The Sir Walter Scott represents a way of life that was based on medieval myths.

What makes the South so fond of its past?

To understand a Southerner’s fondness for monuments and say, the rebel flag, it is essential to understand its culture through its rich literary history. Leafing through such pages will not excuse racism or intolerance or xenophobia, but at least it may help us understand.

Every September in AP Language and…

In scholarly fashion, I sailed through the Victorian Age with The Boz

The Boz and the author sail around Victorian society. Here is Dudley St., Seven Dials. Balloon link.

Let’s Just Say I Read and Listened — Like ‘the Dickens’

My journey with CD, Charles Dickens, started not with reading Oliver Twist in 9th grade. I may have read A Tale of Two Cities in my senior year, but I may have had other pressing concerns in 1987 than Charles Darnay and the French Revolution.

Work, car trips, parties, and…

A poem by William Butler Yeats

Parkes Castle & Lough Gill. County Leitrim, Ireland. Photo by IrishFireside. Link.

I use this amazing Irish poem when we study the American writer Henry David Thoreau and Walden. The parallels are striking: Thoreau in 1854 in America and William Butler Yeats from Ireland in 1888 while walking down Fleet Street in London.

The poem came as a sudden “memory.” Innisfree is…

A poem by William Wordsworth

Tritonen- und Najadenbrunnen von Edmund Hofmann von Aspernburg auf dem Maria-Theresien-Platz in Wien, Österreich. Link.

I do not teach British literature, but to understand the American Romantic period, we need to understand the influence of European writers like Wordsworth, Goethe, Shelley, and Keats on Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman, Hawthorne, and Emily Dickinson.

“The World is Too Much With Us” by William Wordsworth (1802) is a poem…


My Mercedes-Benz W125 mind reads at 432.59 kilometers per hour. I’m sorry.

The Autobahn A30 near Melle looking West. Photo by Christian Kortum

Dearest Medium Reader and Dedicated Followers,

I think I need to explain. And maybe even apologize. I’m sorry. Really. I’m not writing this for “hits.”

Years ago, Rutgers University offered “speed reading classes.” When the brochure arrived, along with The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Rolling Stone, I thought: well, I got so much bathroom reading…

Walter Bowne

A long-haired, headband, mid-life crisis IPA hipster dude, writing, teaching, reading, joking, craft brewing & gardening. His work has appeared in over 40 pubs.

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