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

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”? ...
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 ...

Sections

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 ...
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 ...

Most Popular

Tired of ‘Winning’ Yet?

I’ve never really thought of Mark Steyn as a Palestinian suicide bomber before. You’ll want some context. Steyn, a wonderful writer and former National Review colleague, was filling in for Rush Limbaugh a few weeks ago, and he made the case for using antitrust law to bully technology platforms such as ... Read More

Tired of ‘Winning’ Yet?

I’ve never really thought of Mark Steyn as a Palestinian suicide bomber before. You’ll want some context. Steyn, a wonderful writer and former National Review colleague, was filling in for Rush Limbaugh a few weeks ago, and he made the case for using antitrust law to bully technology platforms such as ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

Jason Isbell’s Alt-Alt-Country Masterpiece

There has long been a chasmic disconnect between the creators and the consumers of Americana music. The Americana songwriter still wants to be Woody Guthrie, but the Americana listener stopped being Tom Joad about 60 years ago. Americana — or alt-country, or folk, or whatever we’re calling it this week — ... Read More

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There has long been a chasmic disconnect between the creators and the consumers of Americana music. The Americana songwriter still wants to be Woody Guthrie, but the Americana listener stopped being Tom Joad about 60 years ago. Americana — or alt-country, or folk, or whatever we’re calling it this week — ... Read More

Protesting Works. Rioting Doesn’t.

The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis has set off massive protests in the city and elsewhere. The protesters point to a video in which a police officer uses his knee to restrain Floyd, applying pressure to his neck for several minutes, as Floyd protests that he can’t breathe. This will ... Read More

Protesting Works. Rioting Doesn’t.

The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis has set off massive protests in the city and elsewhere. The protesters point to a video in which a police officer uses his knee to restrain Floyd, applying pressure to his neck for several minutes, as Floyd protests that he can’t breathe. This will ... Read More