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Philip Crossman
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Death of a Hired Man by Robert Frost There is a lot going on in this poem. Warren and Mary (husband and wife) are discussing what to do with Silas, the hired man who has returned and collapsed near the barn. Mary has invited him in and he now... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Mending Wall by Robert Frost Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
October by Robert Frost O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; To-morrow's wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; To-morrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow,... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Dietrich Bonhoeffer REVIEW “As the couple took in the hard news that the good man who was their son was now dead, so too many English took in the hard news that the dead man, who was a German, was good.” The biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a story riven... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Up late. Thinking about poetry. Waiting—Afield at Dusk by Robert Frost What things for dream there are when spectre-like, Moving among tall haycocks lightly piled, I enter alone upon the stubble field, From which the laborers’ voices late have died, And in the antiphony of afterglow And rising full moon,... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
The Great Awakening Documents on the Revival of Religion 1740-1745 REVIEW This volume of primary sources, assembled and edited by Richard Bushman, captures the zeitgeist of this pivotal period in American history in approximately forty well-selected and contextualized separate documents. The viewpoints are representative of both ministers and congregants and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Revivalism and Separatism in New England: 1740-1800 REVIEW C.C. Goen’s account of the 60 year period after the arrival of George Whitefield to the American colonies (1740) details the fascinating story of the “fractalization” of American Christianity [I invented that word I think]. It would be a mistake to infer... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Records of the Ira Baptist Church Benevolent Sewing Society Last week, I purchased a hand-written book of records of the Ira Baptist Church Benevolent Sewing Society. The organization was founded in May of 1847 and the record book contains annual sermons and reports, the constitution of the society, and minutes... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Damsel REVIEW If someone could have gotten Mark Twain to write the script for a Thomas Hardy novel, this is what I think it would look like. The entire movie has Hardy’s dark pessimism about it but the characters and plot are all straight out of Twain’s wicked sense of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
The Great Awakening REVIEW It is always so fascinating to me to discover where an idea, now manifested in an institution or assortment of institutions, was actually born. Thomas Kidd’s book The Great Awakening takes the reader back to the point in American history (specifically, 1740) where the established American... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Three Identical Strangers REVIEW Every family has secrets. There is something that one partner knows that the other does not. There is something the parents know that the kids do not. There is something that the kids know that the parents do not, or that only one parent knows. There... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
The Past REVIEW In the first scene of this movie, a former husband and wife, separated for four years, gets into a car and begins to back up out of their parking place. He has returned to sign off on their divorce so that she can remarry. His return, as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Teacher Man REVIEW After thirty years of teaching, Frank McCourt headed out the d%oor of his last school into retirement. Someone said to him “You should write a book.” He did. “When I taught in New York City high schools for 30 years,” McCourt writes, “No one but my students... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Far from the Tree REVIEW I can’t really do a better job describing this book/documentary than you will find HERE. But in short, consider all the different ways that a parent might find themselves raising a child who is unimaginably different than what they expected that a child of theirs... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Darkness Falls on the Land of Light REVIEW I will let the author of this book, Douglas Winiarski, summarize what his book is about. Darkness Falls on the Land of Light examines the breakdown of New England Congregationalism and the rise of American evangelicalism during the eighteenth century. It is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Breath REVIEW Tim Winton’s Breath is a story about addiction. Not to drugs or booze but to danger and adrenaline. It is about two Australian boys who are introduced to the chemical highs of surfing beyond the limits of safety. Pikelet and Loonie are in their early teens when they... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Backstabbing for Beginners REVIEW “Corruption is paid for by the poor”  - Pope Francis. Backstabbing for Beginners is a primer in global corruption. In this case it is at the U.N. but it could be about the impact of corruption anywhere. Based on the experience of Michael Soussan, a mid-level... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Brick by Brick the pyramids rose. [they should have documented who built them, eh?] Do you ever embedd philosophical thoughts into the comments in your programs? Thanks for reading my blog sky. Always enjoy hearing your thoughts. Phil
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2019 on "Is this all?’” at Eucatastrophe Reader
The Escape REVIEW Someone has actually made a movie out of Betty Friedan’s 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique. The Escape is focused on (and believe me when I say that throughout 90% of this movie, the camera actually is focused on) Tara, a young housewife and mother of two small... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Lean on Pete REVIEW Fifteen year old Charlie senses that he has an unreliable guardian but it is not like there is a way to go pick up a better one at a local transfer station. His father has a parental IQ score about .0001 above the legal limit where... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2019 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Sleep Dealer Review “Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Educated by Tara Westover REVIEW This is a story of a mind, like a fugitive slave making its way to Canada through an underground railroad called “education.” Tara Westover’s domineering father and his religion-fueled empire of certainty provides the “Iron Curtain” from behind which Tara must escape as a child,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Communal Organization and Social Transition REVIEW Yesterday, Vermonters voted on a number of statewide positions. They basically had to choose between a Republican and a Democratic candidate for Governor. Phil Scott, the Republican incumbent won by a substantial margin. The Democratic candidate was the country’s first major party trans-gendered woman.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Black Sea REVIEW The seaweed is always greener In somebody else's lake You dream about going up there But that is a big mistake Just look at the world around you Right here on the ocean floor Such wonderful things surround you What more is you lookin' for? “Under the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
Going Up the Country REVIEW Going Up the Country: When the Hippies, Dreamers, Freaks, & Radicals Moved to Vermont is written by a fellow faculty member at my college, Yvonne Daley. “My Vermont story began in 1967,” she says in her introduction, “when my first husband and I left graduate... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader