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

The Botched Democratic Case for Witnesses

The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial. Upon the long-anticipated transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said if the upper chamber doesn’t obtain the witnesses and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Botched Democratic Case for Witnesses

The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial. Upon the long-anticipated transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said if the upper chamber doesn’t obtain the witnesses and ... Read More