Magazine | May 14, 2012, Issue



The wind is much too strong. He tries to shelter

where a split rock hides a narrow patch of grass

beneath the summit shining like stained glass

and sees the sun go down on his adventure.

He thinks about the shell he didn’t pack.

He has a box of matches, but no fuel,

and when the weather changed he was a fool

to push on when the ranger said go back.

He knows it’s cold. When he exhales the steam

solidifies his beard against his face.

But he is summer warm and folds his fleece

on a smooth stone and curls into a dream:

Six angels from the AMC hut climb

the ridge to feed him coffee and massage

his limbs before they bear him to their lodge.

He watches as their ponytails keep time.

If only he looked eastward he would find

a cabin waiting with a stove and bed

by Lonesome Lake two hundred yards ahead.

Exhausted hikers rarely face the wind.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Rigorously Modest

Imagine that a U.S. president is considering his options vis-à-vis a rapidly developing Iranian nuclear-weapons program. First, a science adviser comes into the room and predicts that if the Iranians ...


Politics & Policy

Magic Accounting

‘Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It,” read the front-page headline in the February 12 issue of the New York Times. Reporting from Chisago County, north of Minneapolis, ...
Politics & Policy

A Lethargic Dragon

Americans have always looked abroad for inspiration. Alexander Hamilton drew on the experience of Britain and France to shape the economic institutions of the early republic. In the early 19th ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Unreal Campus

When Terrence Malick returned to filmmaking after a two-decade hiatus, the result was 1998’s The Thin Red Line, which is in many ways the most Malicky of all his movies: ...
Politics & Policy

Tales of the Tellers

Thick reference books traditionally have been solemn tomes, housed and read in library reference rooms where sudden snorts of laughter are unexpected and unappreciated. By this standard, the doorstopper under ...


Politics & Policy


EXPOSURE The wind is much too strong. He tries to shelter where a split rock hides a narrow patch of grass beneath the summit shining like stained glass and sees the sun go down ...
Happy Warrior

A Ravening Justice

To get the obvious out of the way: I loathe John Edwards. I loathe him as a slick ambulance-chasing trial lawyer, as a preening poseur of a presidential candidate, as ...
Politics & Policy


The Biker’s Code Bravo to National Review for Charles C. W. Cooke’s article on bikers (“Right Turn on the Open Road,” April 30). I haven’t been to Daytona or Sturgis, but I have ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Perhaps the Secret Service picked up some bad habits protecting John Edwards back in 2004. ‐ For months, the Obama campaign and its media militia harped on the story that ...


You’re forgiven if you don’t want to hear anything about the Titanic for another century, but heed this: The death of the great ship is intimately connected to the matter ...

Most Popular


It’s Time to Attack Putin’s Soft Underbelly

Vladimir Putin was reelected president of Russia today in an event as predictable as the sun’s rising. But his biggest asset hasn’t been his iron grip on Russian politics, it’s been the fecklessness and passivity of his Western counterparts in the face of his outrageous actions. Garry Kasparov, the former ... Read More
White House

John Brennan Freaks Out on Twitter

Former CIA director John Brennan issued a stinging rebuttal to President Donald Trump's Thursday tweet celebrating the dismissal of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. Brennan, who led the CIA under President Barack Obama, referred to Trump as a “demagogue” and hinted that damning evidence of ... Read More


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone. Hope it has been a good one. Yesterday, I had a tale in my Impromptus column. I had been to Harvard, to conduct a couple of interviews, and I waxed nostalgic. In Widener Library, there are bag-checkers -- people checking your bags on your way out. Ages ago, there was this ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hillary’s Other America

I am still chuckling at Hillary Clinton’s speech in India. Among the things she said: If you look at the map of the United States, there is all that red in the middle, places where Trump won. What that map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that own two thirds of America’s Gross Domestic product. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Samantha Power Regrets

‘I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life,” former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power tells Politico. “Though none as immortalized as that one.” Wow. It’s a major concession. And what might “that one” be? Not standing idly by in the White House while Iranians protested a fixed election in 2009, then ... Read More