Magazine | June 22, 2009, Issue

Poetry

OBSESSION

I study the hours on an heirloom watch,

Precious hours marked with diamonds

That scatter the sunlight over the room.

Since you left, I am obsessed with time,

Unsure if it is my enemy or my friend,

Knowing that all suffering ends in time.

I wonder if minutes might be redeemed

To some purpose, palliative and kind,

By watching them pass under the second hand,

Or spill in a silver stream through the hourglass,

The wavering thread of sand creating

A pyramid of minutes from its domed tower,

Where a phantom finger gently pushes down

On the white drift until the hour is over.

 

The hands of the pendulum clock atone 

At noon, point to the zenith where the sun

Looks down upon our garden. Alone here

I ransom an hour of daylight,

Hovering over the gnomon of the sundial.

I’m furious at time, which has no end

And no beginning, no heart or balm to heal,

Blind with grief, sun-stricken and unable

To tell by sight an enemy from a friend.

 – DANIEL MARK EPSTEIN

 

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

States of Mind

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, is Hispanic. She’d be the first to tell you. Though she might say ...
Politics & Policy

Cuban Hopes

In the 1980s, most American foreign-policy experts and intelligence analysts failed to see the internal changes taking place in the Soviet bloc as serious challenges to the regimes. Could history ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Undue Deference

Charles Krauthammer said it better than they would have said it. But a lot of Republicans were surely nodding in agreement as they read the columnist’s argument that they should ...
Politics & Policy

Mexico’s Cartel Wars

Mexico City — Archbishop Héctor González caused a mini-scandal in Mexico when he declared recently that the country’s most notorious drug baron, Joaquín “El Chapo” (“The Kid”) Guzmán, was living ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

How It Was

Richard Brookhiser in the late 1960s was a clever young student in upstate New York, unconventional only in being somewhat more conservative and more bookish than his peers, when he ...
Politics & Policy

The Other O’Connor

The O’Connor everyone remembers is Flannery, who wrote herself into the history of American literature by looking at the poor white Protestants of her native Georgia through the X-ray glasses ...
Politics & Policy

. . . and Away!

The highest-grossing May movies included a prequel to the X-Men trilogy, a reinvention of the sprawling Star Trek franchise, the sequel to 2006’s Night at the Museum, the fourth Terminator ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Specifically Unintended Although I often agree with Andrew C. McCarthy on the issue of terrorist detainees, I believe he is mistaken in his accusation of hypocrisy against the Obama administration on ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ But it worked so well for Yugo.  ‐ Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita abortionist, was shot and killed at his church on a Sunday, in the presence of his wife. ...
The Long View

The Long View

A Conversation from Heaven In an interview with Newsweek, Obama responds to the critics of his critics. Michelle Obama: “It’s been a challenge. But one of the things we do best, along ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

OBSESSION I study the hours on an heirloom watch, Precious hours marked with diamonds That scatter the sunlight over the room. Since you left, I am obsessed with time, Unsure if it is my enemy ...
Happy Warrior

Happy Warrior

  Net Losses A mere year ago the notion that the government would take over General Motors would have seemed incredible. Yet here we are, with the president of the United States ...

Most Popular