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

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 ...
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 ...

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

Form 17Ai: End of Life/Authorized Life Termination/Difficult Next of Kin Reimbursement Procedures Federal Guidelines for the Health Care Reform Act–authorized “End of Life Counseling” [ELC] procedures: ELC sessions are now fully reimbursable ...
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

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
U.S.

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More