Magazine | August 10, 2009, Issue

Target

(with groveling apologies to George Herbert)

Yesterday I was shuffling through a store

And choosing several things I didn’t need – 

Lipstick, conditioner, a candy bar,

A gel pen, Tupperware, ceramic beads – 

But at the orange cheese popcorn I was sighing

About professed ideals and tedious jobs.

Was this the best my long hours could be buying?

I peered at several carts of other slobs – 

Then heard a laugh, and turned, and Love was there:

“How could I mind you buying some cheap thing

Out of your costly work — how would I dare?

I bought you out of all My suffering,

“In spite of what it said about My taste,

And the endlessly more worthwhile things to do – 

And no, I’ve never thought it was a waste:

I’m Love, you idiot, and though you’re you,

“I hold you in extravagant compassion.

No yard-sale browser ever gave less thought 

To use or charm or storage space or fashion – 

And yet I never part with what I’ve bought.”

–SARAH RUDEN

 

Sarah Ruden’s most recent work is a translation of Augustine’s Confessions.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Romney’s Folly

Amid negotiations with leading Democrats over health-care reform, Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, commented, “The federal government is in the process of nationalizing banks, ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Deepest Roots

In numerous books over the years, conservatives have offered historical perspectives on conservatism, liberals on liberalism, and each on the other, crowding bestseller lists and remainder piles alike. The common ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Target

Yesterday I was shuffling through a store And choosing several things I didn’t need –  Lipstick, conditioner, a candy bar, A gel pen, Tupperware, ceramic beads –  But at the orange cheese popcorn I ...
Happy Warrior

Spaghetti Spending

What’s the end game here? I suppose it’s conceivable that there are a few remaining suckers out there who still believe Barack Obama is the great post-partisan, fiscally responsible, pragmatic ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Loose Facts, and Women  David Pryce-Jones’s elegant essay “The Dark Lord” (July 6) provided a wealth of fascinating and disturbing insights into the character of Lord Byron. But Pryce-Jones is in ...

Most Popular

Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
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

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to California Republicans?

From 1967 to 2019, Republicans controlled the California governorship for 31 of 52 years. So why is there currently not a single statewide Republican officeholder? California also has a Democratic governor and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Only seven of California’s 53 ... Read More