Magazine | January 24, 2011, Issue

Poetry

A C.S. LEWIS BODICE-RIPPER, FROM AFRICA

In making books there is no end,

And little merit. You have read

Of world on world that has no friend,

In volumes equally as dead;

And if I sent a screed to you

On life unending, you would sigh,

As, certainly, you’ve read that too,

And I am plainly going to die.

But what about a hot desire –

In a few words, because you share it?

A fantasy, a secret fire?

But if you’re bored, of course I’ll spare it.

Nineteen years old, I took a ride

Across the fields and met the one

Who spent entire months inside,

Only remembering her son.

It was as strange as in a book –

And yet she spoke to me and smiled.

She had a silly, open look,

As if I were her hapless child.

My eyes resolved on flat contempt –

That stayed with me in this new land,

Where grief, from which I seem exempt,

Nests bare and shaking in my hand.

But what about the ulcerous spot

Scoured by the gravelly blood of yearning,

Where so much is, but love is not?

The names, the theories for that burning!

Let Mercy strip my life of sleep.

Renew me, give me eyes to see.

Since You have paid, the truth is cheap:

There is one God, for her and me.

Sarah Ruden is the author, most recently, of The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible. She also has translated Augustine’s Confessions.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Advantage: Obama

The overhyped political story of the moment is President Obama’s supposed comeback. That story notes that just weeks after his midterm “shellacking” he won congressional approval for a deal on ...
Politics & Policy

Budget War

The 2010 midterm election was a decisive victory for Republicans. From where they now sit — with a strong majority in the House and a much-improved position in the Senate ...
Politics & Policy

What the Whigs Knew

Eva Moskowitz is a traditional, down-the-line Democrat in almost every respect. She’s a Jewish New Yorker from a family of FDR liberals. “My grandmother would turn over in her grave ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Socialism Is Back

‘Socialism” is a word that has vexed thoughtful conservatives since 2008, along with the related terms “Marxist,” “radical,” and the whole nomenclature of leftish extremism. In his painstakingly documented book ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Top Down

The ideology of the American ruling class has done great harm to those classes which do not have the privilege of ruling, and few people are better equipped to analyze ...
The Straggler

Shovel Ready

One of our township’s very few claims to fame, perhaps the only one, arises from its cesspools. The Wikipedia article headed “cesspool” devotes an entire paragraph to Huntington. In numbers ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Defeats that Weren’t I would like to thank Mackubin Thomas Owens and James S. Robbins — the former for reviewing This Time We Win (“The Tet Myth,” December 20) and the ...
The Long View

Federal Health Care Act

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Politics & Policy

Poetry

A C.S. LEWIS BODICE-RIPPER, FROM AFRICA In making books there is no end, And little merit. You have read Of world on world that has no friend, In volumes equally as dead; And if I ...
Athwart

Mojo Myth

The president attended church in Hawaii, but he went the day after Christmas, so as not to distract from the other guy’s limelight. Decent of him; the babe only gets ...
Politics & Policy

Operation Rewind

While we like a good party now and again, the fact that House Republicans held no official gala to celebrate their accession to the majority in the new Congress reflects ...

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More
World

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

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White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More
U.S.

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

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