The Religious Aspect of The Kingdom of Ordinary Time

The Kingdom of Ordinary Time is a book of poetry by Marie Howe. In her book Howe writes on many topics such as a mother, what a person would be willing to give up, and marriage. Many of her poems, however, have religious undertones. Howe uses religion in her poetry to give her poems a deeper meaning.

“Easter” is a poem in Howe’s book that discusses Jesus’ resurrection. Howe writes, “And the whole body was too small. Imagine the sky trying to fit into a tunnel carved into a hill” (5-6). Howe is making a reference to John 19 where Jesus is being laid to rest in a tomb. Howe is trying to express how powerful Jesus is by saying how His human body was too small for him. Trying to fit all Jesus’ grace and majesty in a cave is a symbol of how great He is.

“Ordinary Time” is one of Howe’s poems where she writes about creation. Howe writes, “What year was it? Just after the previous age ended, it began… Some said it simply didn’t happen, although others insisted they knew all about it and made many intricate plans” (2-9). Howe discusses how nobody knows when creation happened. Some people believe that it never happened, however others believe that God created the heavens and the earth, as is written in Genesis 1. Howe writes, “What happened did not occur in public view” (6). When it comes down to it, we were not there so we do not know what exactly happened. It is on faith and faith alone whether we agree or disagree with the creation story in Genesis 1.

“Prayer” is one of Howe’s poems that discusses prayer and human’s struggle with it. Howe writes about a common phenomenon when she writes, “Everyday I want to speak with you. And every day something more important calls for my attention” (1-2). People everywhere, sometimes even the most devout Christians, will forget or choose not to pray because they have something better or more important to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing”. This seems like a thing that we struggle to do. Howe writes, “The mystics say you are as close as my own breath. Why do I flee from you?” (7-8). This is a question we must all ask ourselves. If we are so close to God then why do we not talk to him?

The Kingdom of Ordinary Time is Marie Howe’s book of poetry. Many of her poems are religious and discuss topics in the Bible such as Jesus’ resurrection, prayer, and creation. She uses religion and makes biblical references in her poetry to discuss major aspects of Christianity. Howe’s use of religion gives her poetry a deeper meaning and captures the readers’ attention by drawing attention to their own faith.



Howe, Marie. The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. N.p.: W. W. Norton, 2008. Print.


The Bible. New American Standard Bible, Zondervan, 2002

The Results of Iago’s Jealousy


Othello is a Shakespearean play that tells the tragic story of a marriage being broken up as a result of the manipulation of a third party. In the Folger edition of the play, it includes an essay at the end of the book. This essay entitled Othello: A Modern Perspective, written by Susan Snyder, discusses the reasons as to why Othello and Desdemona’s relationship falls apart. Snyder’s reasons for the downfall are one – Iago is at fault – , Two – Othello and Desdemona’s marriage was not strong enough to begin with – , and three – it is society’s fault. Of the approaches that Snyder writes about, the most compelling argument she makes is that Iago is to blame for the destruction of Othello and Desdemona’s marriage.

Stating that Iago is to blame for destroying Othello and Desdemona’s marriage is not only the most obvious reason, but it is the reason that caused so much strain and drama to their marriage, as well as others around them. Snyder states, “It is he who plots to poison Othello’s happiness, and to bring down Cassio as well by getting him first stripped of his military position and then suspected by the Moor as Desdemona’s lover” (288). It is indeed Iago’s fault for ruining this marriage for he was the one who set out so specifically to do so.

The reason why Iago sets out to ruin Othello’s life is because he is consumed by jealousy. He is jealous that Othello chose Cassio to be his lieutenant. He is so enraged that he did not get the position that he “deserved” that he ends up plotting to seek revenge on Othello. When speaking to Roderigo, Iago says, “I hate the Moor. My cause is hearted; thine hath no less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him” (1.3.408-11)

It is with this rage and jealousy that Iago plots to get revenge on Othello. He manipulates Othello into believing that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. He does this by saying, “I lay with Cassio lately and being troubled with a raging tooth I could not sleep… In sleep I heard him say ‘sweet Desdemona, let us be wary, let us hide our loves’” (3.3.470-76). This along with saying, “I know not that; but such a handkerchief – I am sure it was your wife’s – did I today see Cassio wipe his beard with “ (3.3.496-98) convinces Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him. Believing this leads to Othello killing Desdemona, and once he learns the truth, results in Othello killing himself.

Shakespeare’s Othello tells the tragic story of a marriage being broken up. In her essay Othello: A Modern Perspective, Susan Snyder states that this happened as a result of Iago’s jealousy. Iago manipulates Othello into believing that Desdemona is cheating on him, therefore, destroying their marriage and getting his revenge. Othello teaches us that jealousy and revenge can have unintended consequences. Instead of letting our feelings get the best of us, we should think about our actions before we do them.


Works Cited

Mowat, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine, eds. Folger Shakespeare Library: Othello by William Shakespeare. Simon and Schuster, 2009

Snyder, Susan. Othello: A Modern Perspective. Folger Shakespeare Library: Othello by William Shakespeare, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine, Simon and Scuster, 2009. 287-98.

Comparing Lincoln to Garfield

Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation is a book that follows the author as she embarks on a road trip to the various locations that are associated with presidential assassinations. Vowell focuses on the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, who were the first three presidents to be assassinated. She devotes a chapter to each of these three presidents, in which she discusses the president, the assassination, her visits to these historical locations, as well as her own commentation of everything. The first chapter, devoted to Lincoln, starts out strong as she discusses the famous sixteenth president. However, as she moves on to chapters two and three about Garfield and McKinley respectively, Vowell fails to make these chapters live up to the standards of the first chapter. When comparing Lincoln’s chapter to Garfield’s chapter, it becomes clear that Garfield’s chapter is not nearly as interesting or captivating as Lincoln’s chapter.

In chapter one, Vowell discusses the assassination of President Lincoln. She is roaming through Washington D.C. as she travels to the Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theater, and many other locations that are associated with Lincoln’s assassination. Vowell goes into great detail throughout this chapter, discussing Booth’s plot to kill Lincoln, the events leading up to and following the shooting at Ford’s Theater, Lincoln’s autopsy, and what happened to Booth after the shooting. Vowell discusses Lincoln’s legacy as she quotes Edward Curtis, who performed Lincoln’s autopsy. Curtis discusses removing Lincoln’s brain, “It was that mere clay whose workings, but not the day before, rested the hopes of the nation” (52). Chapter one is intriguing and passionate as Vowell writes about one of America’s greatest presidents.

In chapter two, Vowell discusses the assassination of president Garfield. Vowell makes it abundantly clear at the very beginning of the chapter that President Garfield is not interesting; “The most famous thing ever said about President James A. Garfield is about how nobody has any idea who the hell he was” (123). She makes this point even more clear by stating “the story of Garfield’s death is more interesting than his life” (125). With so little to talk about in regards to Garfield, Vowell fills the empty space with her own ramblings that have nothing to do with Garfield, such as talking about her nephew and Scooby Doo. Vowell very clearly struggles to make this chapter as interesting as chapter one.

In chapter one, Vowell works hard in telling Lincoln’s story. She does this by captivating the reader with interesting and historical facts and accounts. Vowell set the bar too high with chapter one. By the time she gets to chapter two, she loses the reader’s attention by getting lost in a sea of boring information about President Garfield. This is partly the case because Lincoln is about one thousand times more interesting than Garfield. One could read about Lincoln all day, but one would get after about five minutes of reading about Garfield. Vowell does not make this any easier as she comes right out as says how boring and uninteresting Garfield is. She also rambles about unrelated topics such as her nephew and Scooby Doo to take up space throughout the chapter, as she has nothing much left to say about Garfield.

Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation is about her road tip visiting locations associated with the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. In chapter one, Vowell discusses Lincoln and does a tremendous job of telling Lincoln’s story, while informing and entertaining the reader. In chapter two, Vowell does a mediocre job of discussing Garfield as she notes how uninteresting he was. Lincoln’s chapter in comparison to Garfield’s chapter is much more interesting and does a better job of discussing the presidents’ assassinations.



Works Cited

Vowell, Sarah. Assassination Vacation. Simon and Schuster. 2005.

Getting Rid of the Sin that Is Hector Bligh

In John Crow’s Devil, the chapter entitled “Bang”, Marlon James depicts a scene where Apostle York is giving a sermon one Sunday morning. He is reading a passage from the book of Mark that discusses the end times. In the end times, there are wars and struggles, but we are not to be troubled, for the Lord will bring salvation (159). Apostle York goes on to suggest that now is the time to act. According to the sermon he gave, Apostle York is Gibbeah’s salvation and he must take every step necessary to save the people of Gibbeah (159). The only way to save everyone is to purify them of their sins and everything that causes sin, that sin being Hector Bligh.

In the beginning of John Crow’s Devil, the church in Gibbeah is being corrupt by the alcoholic, Pastor Bligh. Apostle York comes to Gibbeah and casts out Pastor Bligh in an attempt to reform and restore the church. Pastor Bligh plans to seek revenge on Apostle York for he thinks the Apostle is corrupt and that he is the devil. However, as the book goes on, it becomes clear that the Apostle’s intentions may not be good, and as a result, Apostle York convinces everyone in Gibbeah that Bligh is the source of their problems. This conception comes from the fact that Gibbeah is morally corrupt and very sinful, and that Hector Bligh is the pastor, who in theory should be a well-respected man that has some sense of responsibility over Gibbeah and the actions of its citizens. The reality of the matter is that Bligh’s abuse of alcohol and his morally unsound behavior results in his neglect of responsibilities.

The reason that Apostle York comes to Gibbeah, or the reason that he tells people, is to correct the mistakes that Bligh made and to restore the church to its former glory. Bligh’s vendetta against the Apostle causes constant disruptions and makes it even harder for the Apostle to do his job. These discourses eventually become violent after many verbal attacks and church interruptions on Bligh’s part. “The pastor hit the ground before the Apostle felt the spit and blood on how own knuckles” (83). At this point, the Apostle makes it clear to everyone that Bligh is the main source of everyone’s problems.

The Apostle wants to purify Gibbeah and rid everyone of their sins. “The Apostle say that God say that Gibbeah must cut itself off from the sin that so easily entangle” (94). The Apostle says that this “sin” is referring to Hector Bligh. This is why in “Bang”, the Apostle wants to take all the steps necessary to get rid of Hector Bligh (159). It is later revealed that the Apostle accomplishes his goal after they stone Bligh to death.

In John Crow’s Devil, the chapter entitles “Bang” depicts the Apostle giving a sermon saying that in order to get rid of the sins in Gibbeah, they must get rid of the source of their sin. The source of that sin is Hector Bligh. The Apostle uses him as the scapegoat for being the biggest problem and the main source of corruption in Gibbeah.

Work Cited

James, Marlon. John Crow’s Devil. Akashic. 2005.

All About Me :)

 My name is Heather Lynn Setzler and I am 17 years old. I am a senior at University Christian High School on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University, and I am taking mainly college courses. My parents got divorced when I was 13, and they are currently both remarried. I have a 15 year-old sister, a 14 year-old stepsister, and an 11 year-old stepbrother. I also have a stepbrother and stepsister that are 30, but I never see them. I’ve worked at Lowes Foods for about a year, and currently I am training to be a type of a manager.

My favorite pastime is spending time with my friends. I am not athletic in any way, shape, or form, so I do not play any sports. One thing I really like to do is watch movies. My favorite movies are The Wolf of Wall Street and Stepbrothers. I listen to a variety of music, but my favorite genre to listen to is rap. My favorite song is “Over” by Drake.