Magazine | July 20, 2009, Issue

Poetry

BOCAGE

1789

When you deserted your military post,

you fled from India as a refugee,

then sailed — where else? — to Macao off the coast

of China, at the edge of the South China Sea.

At twenty-three, you’d made a perfect mess

of your life, reinventing ways to fail,

but the future would be much worse (did you guess?):

illness, enemies, poverty, even jail.

But, now, there is this momentary peace

four thousand miles from Lisbon and home,

where Camões once came to write his masterpiece,

some sonnets, but, most important, the epic poem,

and maybe on this beach, calm and serene,

he wrote, “Love is a fire that burns unseen.”

–WILLIAM BAER

 

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Our Common Foe

Tear gas was still wafting through the streets of Tehran when, at a June 23 White House press conference, The Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney conveyed an Iranian’s question to President ...
Politics & Policy

Sanford’s Seventies Show

These days, summer movies come in three basic flavors: the big-budget, special-effects-drenched spectacle (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek), the gross-out sex comedy (The Hangover), and the sweetly romantic ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Dependence Day

Health care is a game-changer. The permanent game-changer. The pendulum will swing, and one day, despite their best efforts, the Republicans will return to power, and, in the right circumstances, ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Story Morals

On January 20, 2002, Leon Kass, chairman of the newly appointed President’s Council on Bioethics, opened the Council’s first session with a discussion of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1843 short story “The ...
City Desk

Skull Season

The English cartoonist James Gillray drew a famous panel titled “The Gout.” The wordless image showed a naked human foot, bitten by a tiny demon. How would he illustrate “Headache”? ...

Sections

The Bent Pin

Flowering Industry

Warning: The economic crisis has changed my very personality. The bitter pessimist you know and love, who always topped off her half-full whiskey glasses because they were obviously half-empty, is ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

1789 When you deserted your military post, you fled from India as a refugee, then sailed — where else? — to Macao off the coast of China, at the edge of the South China ...
Happy Warrior

Jacksonian Democracy

On Sept. 11, 2001, about an hour after the planes hit the twin towers, Jo Moore, a senior adviser to Britain’s “secretary of state for transport, local government, and the ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Democracy Drifting Away I read William Voegeli’s review of Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift (“Can We Outlast the Contradictions?” — June 22) with pleasure and genuine interest. His depiction of my book ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Let’s hope he turns out to be a better senator than he was a comedian. ‐ The saga of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and his Argentinian mistress displayed two ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
Books

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More