Magazine | July 9, 2012, Issue

Poetry

Bobolink

You rise from dry meadowgrass

          With a laborious flutter, more

Wing-action than the shortness of your flight

           Would seem to call for

And so it seems obvious

           Flying for you is a steep effort

Nature exacts, though not without amends,

           Bobolink, reedbird;

The wiry tones of your song

           Set forth a waltz in clear whistles

At first, so well-sustained! But then you break

           Down the bars, stampede

Your notes into a reckless

           Song fantasia piped at lightning speed

No one can follow — not the barn swallow

           Who soars with such grace,

Not the bird-watcher stalking

           The field, not blind Tom with all his skill

At sound-catching, his passion for filling

           Darkness with music.

Ricebird, reedbird, bobolink,

           Your song is the strained apology

For all of the weak-winged, condemned to sing,

           Because we cannot fly.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The Immigration Proclamation

President Barack Obama once again has brushed aside the founding principles that hold our Constitution together. His signature health-care scheme depends on the claim that the Constitution places no limits ...
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Stepping in It

Toward the end of this piece, I am going to make a dry but mercifully brief argument for a corollary of technological neutralism I arrogantly (and probably unjustifiably) dub “Foster’s ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The 51st Star

William F. Buckley Jr. said of Jeane Kirkpatrick, “She ought to be woven into the flag as the 51st star.” When I was introduced to Kirkpatrick, I quoted this remark. ...
Politics & Policy

America’s Iliad

Every generation christens its own favored Civil War book, almost by clockwork. Twenty-five years ago, James McPherson brought forth his richly awarded and eminently readable Battle Cry of Freedom, just ...
Politics & Policy

Still Guilty

It is unlikely that we ever will have a proper reckoning of the American Left’s culpability in the worldwide Communist enterprise — the gulags and laogai, the Stasi, the Holodomor, ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Questionable Questions I was surprised to notice that, in the June 11 issue of NR, The Week touted the necessity of the American Community Survey. This survey is unconstitutional. Yes, according to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Not that those work permits are going to be of much use . . . ‐ During a press conference, President Obama said that the private sector was “doing fine.” ...
The Long View

Bethesda Mental Health Clinic

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Athwart

Uncle Sam Meets Aunt Jemima

The Voyager spacecraft has reached the edge of the solar system, and is now poised to become an undocumented resident of the galaxy beyond. Impressive! It contains a record that ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

Bobolink You rise from dry meadowgrass           With a laborious flutter, more Wing-action than the shortness of your flight            Would seem to call for And so ...
Happy Warrior

Mr. Powell and His Peers

‘All political lives,” said the British politician Enoch Powell many years ago, “unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More