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. …


Fiction

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. …


Never listen to rock and roll lyrics

Photo by Trinity Kubassek from Pexels

I did everything to impress women except speaking to them. Between the ages of 3 and 24, I was a disaster with women. Why should such disasters still haunt me now at 51?

There was one girl who lived around the corner. Let’s call her Juliet. I don’t know what…


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…


Call out buffoons with sound logic and don’t write like a Yahoo

A strawman rides a bandwagon full of red herrings down a slippery road with circular reasoning wheels on the Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc Highway to Hell. Image by the author. Pixlr.com

Hey everyone! Walter ‘Down with Bowne’ here — talking — er — writing about logical fallacies

That just means errors in logic and reasoning. Or “Junk Cognition.”

For example, let’s just say that you feel smoking cigarettes is fine because your Uncle Joe Bobby John lived to be 98, and he enjoyed a pack of Camels every day.

That’s great! But the one does not prove…


OPEN LETTERS

Here are a few other book suggestions other than rereading our beloved prophet for the hundredth time

Ayn Rand gets an updated look for the Modern Age. Link. Image by the author/ Canva.

Dear Ayn Rand, Neo-Conservative, Neo-Libertarian, and Former Tea Party Readers,

I know we have all read Ayn Rand. We love Ayn Rand. However, it would be myopic to only read a handful of books that cater to our message. It’s akin to having a severe case of ‘monobibliosis ‘— basing a belief system on One Book.

Here are several classics…


Let me correct the errors of English teachers everywhere

The American Renaissance, or the American Literary revolution, also started in Concord, Mass. From top left to bottom right: Louisa May Alcott, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Emily Dickinson. Links from Wikipedia. Canva.com by the author.

Hello, scholars! And fans of literature! Walter “Down with Bowne” here

We’re gonna be talking about Transcendentalism, an offshoot of Romanticism. It’s still in the same vein, part of the same tree — just a really big and influential limb, let’s say.

Get your handy-dandy notebooks out! A quiz — I promise — will not follow.

We have for the All-Stars…


A Ghost Story: Part II

The alleyway connecting the two side platforms in the shuttered PATCO station under Philadelphia’s Franklin Square, as viewed from a stopped westbound train. Link. Woman and baby link. Powerpoint by Mary Jane Murphy-Bowne.

Part I:

Part II:

First, the sound of an oncoming train.

That sound of the train moaning as it slows down, squeaks and screeches around the curve, hitting the darkness of the underground tunnel. The brakes groan. …


A Ghost Story: Part I

A photo of the shuttered PATCO station under Franklin Square in Philadelphia. Link. Woman and baby link. Powerpoint by Mary Jane Murphy-Bowne.

Among the things that Roderick “Rory” Radcliffe bequeathed me was a legacy of nightmares. Roderick had always been the clarity the world needed to expose the hidden or the rotten.

No one knew, then, what Roderick himself was hiding nor what he saw that no one else saw. …

Walter Bowne

Just a dude writing, teaching, reading, & gardening. His work has appeared in over 40 pubs. This fall, he read all of Daniel Dafoe. Not Willem Dafoe, the actor.

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