VPR Commentaries 2006

Last Updated 5/8/2014 12:39:03 PM

Humanities Commentaries on VPR



To a Young Wretch (12-21-06)

Across Vermont thousands of people are buying Christmas trees—or cutting their own.  Commentator Peter Gilbert tells us about a Robert Frost poem in which the narrator struggles to feel the holiday spirit toward a neighbor who' s cut a Christmas tree on his land without asking.

Blackberry Haiku (12-11-06)

Commentator Peter Gilbert is wondering whether new communication technology may be creating a new poetic form.

Twig Season (11-27-06)

Many of us have a favorite season in Vermont. Commentator Peter Gilbert's favorite may surprise you.

Literacy (10-26-06)

As election day approaches, commentator Peter Gilbert has been thinking that if there were a silver bullet for creating both good and successful citizens, it would be education. Education starts with the ability to read. And in Vermont, literacy programs to promote reading and books can be found everywhere from play pens to prisons.

Keats Poem “To Autumn” (10-9-06)

Fall colors were at their peak in much of Vermont this past weekend, and for commentator Peter Gilbert they brought to mind a famous poem that's been called "… as close to perfect as any shorter poem in the English language."

Chester A. Arthur (9-19-06)

Calvin Coolidge is only one of two American presidents who hailed from Vermont. The other is not as well known—or as beloved—as Coolidge, but the two men have more in common than one might think. Here's commentator Peter Gilbert.

Richard III Society (8-21-06)

Commentator Peter Gilbert will be reading the "In Memoriam" notices in The New York Times carefully tomorrow—to see if a notice honoring a man who died 521 years ago will be printed again this year.

Phineas Gage (8-2-06)

Whenever he's muscling fieldstone to build stone walls, commentator Peter Gilbert can't help but think of an industrial accident that happened in Vermont— and made medical history.

Suez Anniversary (7-26-06)

The current conflict in the Middle East has reminded commentator Peter Gilbert of another crisis, that helped define the role of the United States in the region—fifty years ago today.

Shop Girl (7-17-06)

A new movie by Steve Martin has commentator Peter Gilbert thinking about what characteristics Americans generally think of when they think of Vermonters.

French and Indian War (7-4-06)

On Independence Day, here's commentator Peter Gilbert to tell us about the war that made Independence Day possible. It's been nicknamed the War that Made America–and it's not the American Revolution.

Ghost Soldiers (5-29-06)

The celebrated author Dorothy Canfield Fisher is not the only famous member of her family. As we observe Memorial Day 2006, commentator Peter Gilbert has the story of her son, James, one of Vermont's greatest World War Two heroes.

Nothing Gold (5-18-06)

Spring is here in all its glory, and here are Robert Frost and commentator Peter Gilbert on the fleeting colors of the season.

Old Home Days (5-5-06)

Commentator Peter Gilbert says that here in New England at least, today's creative economy approach to community development has a lot in common with traditional Old Home Days—and even a couple of classic children's books.

Cervantes (4-20-06)

If you're looking for the perfect novel to read on vacation this summer, commentator Peter Gilbert recommends the very first—and possibly the very best—novel ever written.

Poetry Out Loud (4-12-06)

This evening at five o'clock, central Vermont high school students will gather at the Pavilion in Montpelier to recite poetry aloud—from memory. Commentator Peter Gilbert explains.

Jim Freedman (3-24-06)

Commentator Peter Gilbert remembers his old boss, Dartmouth President Emeritus James O. Freedman, who died on Tuesday, March 21st at the age of seventy.

Bystander Effect (3-13-06)

Today is the anniversary of a sad event in American urban history, and it reminds commentator Peter Gilbert of the power of a group to influence individuals' opinions, attitudes, and actions—consciously or unconsciously.

Washington’s Crossing (2-22-06)

Today is Washington's birthday, and commentator Peter Gilbert has been reading a fascinating book about General Washington's role in the American Revolution, and its potential to inspire us today.

New England Charity (2-15-06)

A recent study of charitable giving in New England takes a closer look at some oft-cited figures that seem to show that New Englanders are less generous than people in other parts of the country. Commentator Peter Gilbert explains.

Eavesdropping (1-27-06)

Two lawsuits have been filed to stop President Bush's authorization of listening in on Americans' phone calls here at home. Commentator Peter Gilbert clarifies the Constitutional and political issues involved.

Alito Hearings (1-17-06)

The confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito reminded commentator Peter Gilbert of how important it is for all high school history students to learn about the Constitution and our democratic form of government. 

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