Magazine | April 18, 2011, Issue

Poetry

WINDOW SHOPPER’S IVORY

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 hours of work,

becomes more the life of the artist,

than of the elephant from which it came.

At least as seen on pillars of smooth mahogany,

upholding the great, private spectacle:

long as a man reclining . . . in the curve of ivory.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Replacement Plan

On health care, Republicans have unified behind a slogan rather than a policy. The slogan, “repeal and replace,” describes what they want to do to the Democrats’ health-care law, also ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Tocqueville and the Tube

Television makes us fat, lazy, inattentive, unsociable, mistrustful, materialistic — and unhappy about all of that. It cheapens political discourse, weakens family ties, prevents face-to-face socializing, and exposes kids to ...
Politics & Policy

Irresponsible

President Obama’s use of military force in Libya has come under intense criticism across the American political spectrum. There is widespread disagreement over what U.S. objectives should be, and many ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Light of the World

If the Vatican Observatory were to begin broadcasting Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence–style signals into space, and the Catholic Church went looking for a single story capable of introducing to an ...
The Straggler

Decline and Fall

There is a school of psychology called Situationism that pooh-poohs the notion of individual character. This line of thought began with some experiments by Stanley Milgram of Yale in the ...
Politics & Policy

The Parent Trap

When Andrew Ferguson attended Occidental College in the 1970s, colleges were already moving away from fussy old requirements like American history, English composition, and foreign languages, and towards the anything-goes ...
Politics & Policy

TR’s Goal-Line Stand

Baseball may still try to market itself as our national pastime, but there’s little doubt that football is our national passion. By any measurement, the popularity of college and professional ...

Sections

Happy Warrior

Esprit de l’Escalier

Wandering round this great republic predicting the apocalypse, I’m often asked by audience members why it is I’m being quite so overwrought if not an hysterical old queen about the ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Who Will Review the Judicial Reviewers? In his reply to Pamela K. Grow’s letter concerning nullification, Allen C. Guelzo states, correctly, “If the founders had wanted to grant nullifying power — ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ To be fair, Obama is right: Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Congress has to declare kinetic military action. ‐ The Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of ...
The Long View

NSA Document Extract

NSA Document Extract POTUS Secured Communications 03.24.11 09:33EDT Begin Extract Static. Ringing. Unidentified Male Voice: Hello? POTUS: Mr. President? It’s Barack Obama. UMV: Well hey. Hey! Barack Obama. Lemme just — Barb, can you turn that down? ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WINDOW SHOPPER’S IVORY 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 ...

Most Popular

U.S.

How to Bend the News

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U.S.

Trump’s Total Culture War

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Education

George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More