Magazine April 18, 2011, Issue

Window Shopper’s Ivory

A man looks at the window of a jewelry shop at Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, Switzerland, December 8, 2008. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters )

The grand and opulent curve –
the tusk from a beast long gone;
now observed held firm,
upon its dark, exotic wooden base.

At first glance, the surface appears merely uneven;
but a better view reveals the intricate drama –

Convolution of tiny figures,
a great crowd of them,
in all postures of threat and submission,
of dance, ritual, and celebration –

Myth and legend of the Orient:
faces from the carver’s village and family;
of his schooldays . . . and of his dreams;
transposed into their own world,
where the torn and broken . . .
are healed and beautiful.

The making of a jewel endless as Art itself;
which in its painstaking creation,
thousands of …

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The Week

To be fair, Obama is right: Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Congress has to declare kinetic military action.

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