Magazine April 20, 2009, Issue

Poetry

The View

The scarlet torches of crape myrtle

Crowd my window, kindled by the sun.

Their thick foliage blocks my view

Of all but the treetops and the sky.

I enjoy the flower-clusters, and butterflies

That visit here, green midges, and bees

That traffic in nectar and yellow pollen.

I might still learn economy or lore

From their abrupt, impulsive intimacy.

But I am jealous of the light that’s lost

To these gorgeous interlopers that began

Five years ago and twenty feet below

As blooming shrubs against the wall.

I remember the castle in a fairy tale,

Overgrown with brambles, trees, and vines,

Fallen under a curse, or witch’s spell,

Lost to the world for years, impenetrable—

A house where only sleep was possible.

I cannot see the garden for the flowers.

Time to throw open the sash. Be merciless!

Out with the shears, off with their pretty heads.

 

—DANIEL MARK EPSTEIN

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

How We Fight

The Republican party is now consolidated in its opposition to President Obama. Most of its members have decided that his central political project is to bring social democracy to these ...
Politics & Policy

A Good Plan in Africa

Nairobi, Kenya – Democracy promotion is and probably always will be America’s default foreign policy, embarked upon when no other controlling interests prevail. This is so for two reasons: one philosophical, ...
Politics & Policy

Tip Jar Nation

Here’s what just happened. I’m in a hip coffee shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco. It’s early afternoon, and I order a double espresso. I hand over the money and ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The New Afghan War

Kabul – Gov. Mohammed Halim Fi-dai is agitated. He’s holding forth in his office in Wardak province a half-hour or so outside of Kabul, before an audience of U.S. military ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

By the Waters…

Richard John Neuhaus, recently departed and greatly missed, enjoyed four overlapping careers in the American public square. Taken on its own, each would have been sufficient to guarantee the fame ...
Politics & Policy

Paleo Khan

In The Dangerous Book for Boys, the name Genghis Khan appears precisely once. It’s a passing reference, toward the end, in a section on the Great Wall of China. Yet ...
Politics & Policy

On Our Side

William F. Buckley Jr. wrote a successful series of espionage thrillers about Blackford Oakes, a CIA agent. Now National Review editor Rich Lowry (together with his friend Keith Korman) has ...
Politics & Policy

Shelf Life

David Bentley Hart is one of the most valuable theologians of recent years; his 2003 book The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth is a masterpiece. The ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Keeping the Peace  In the April 6 issue’s “The Week,” you ran a paragraph about the recent attacks on soldiers and policemen in Northern Ireland. The piece unfairly and incorrectly stated ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Carter-era Fiat: Fix It Again, Tony. Obama-era Fiat: Fix It Again, Taxpayers. ‐ “What’s good for the country is good for General Motors,” Charles Wilson, the company’s president in the ...
The Bent Pin

The Bent Pin

Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure As the Obama administration enters its third month I keep thinking of an old rhyming joke. It’s about an absent-minded girl who, being incapable of ...
The Long View

The Long View

A Twitter-istory of the World . . . Spent all a.m. trying to walk upright. Any1 in the Twitterverse had success at that yet? Also: what’s the 411 in re: hunting, ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

The scarlet torches of crape myrtle Crowd my window, kindled by the sun. Their thick foliage blocks my view Of all but the treetops and the sky. I enjoy the flower-clusters, and butterflies That visit ...
Happy Warrior

Happy Warrior

Closing Up Shop As National Review’s in-house demography bore — oh, hang on, the self-deprecating “demography bore” shtick is getting even more boring than just boring on about demography . . ...

Most Popular

White House

The Democrats’ Burisma Bait and Switch

Imagine you get indicted in a swindle. The prosecutors represent that they can prove you and your alleged co-conspirators planned to fleece a major financial institution. You counter that you weren’t fleecing anyone. Sure, you were asking for millions in loans, but the collateral you were prepared to post was ... Read More
White House

The Democrats’ Burisma Bait and Switch

Imagine you get indicted in a swindle. The prosecutors represent that they can prove you and your alleged co-conspirators planned to fleece a major financial institution. You counter that you weren’t fleecing anyone. Sure, you were asking for millions in loans, but the collateral you were prepared to post was ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

15 Flaws in Adam Schiff’s Case

Adam Schiff did most of the heavy lifting for the House managers, and if he performed ably, he also relied on arguments and tropes that don’t withstand scrutiny. The Democratic case for impeachment and removal is now heavily encrusted with clichés, widely accepted by the media, meant to give their ... Read More
Politics & Policy

15 Flaws in Adam Schiff’s Case

Adam Schiff did most of the heavy lifting for the House managers, and if he performed ably, he also relied on arguments and tropes that don’t withstand scrutiny. The Democratic case for impeachment and removal is now heavily encrusted with clichés, widely accepted by the media, meant to give their ... Read More

When There Is No Normal

One of the ancient and modern critiques of democracy is that radicals destroy norms for short-term political gain, norms that they themselves often later seek as refuge. Schadenfreude, irony, paradox, and karma are various descriptions of what happens to revolutionaries, and unfortunately the innocent, who ... Read More

When There Is No Normal

One of the ancient and modern critiques of democracy is that radicals destroy norms for short-term political gain, norms that they themselves often later seek as refuge. Schadenfreude, irony, paradox, and karma are various descriptions of what happens to revolutionaries, and unfortunately the innocent, who ... Read More