Magazine | November 12, 2012, Issue

Poetry

ROSES AND THORNS

Our neighbor died as winter ended.

Across the street from the rose bush,

rich with blooms, is a new for-sale sign,

and grass that needs cutting.

His wife died almost ten years ago,

and my father, not long after.

He and Mother, as their health

would permit, would date, from time to time.

It was always a relief to see her,

once again, with a luster of girlish sparkle.

The order of our going is painful,

as is ever our renewal.

I must remember, the roses,

with their wild pink excess

of springtime glory,

got that way because

of another lady, last fall,

up to her elbows in thorns,

who cut the bush back, way back,

leaving a thorn field of debris,

removed with delicate care,

in preparation for this moment,

and others, of fair appreciation,

when renewal breaks with fresh color,

beyond the hurt and fade,

into a clarity of light and hope,

cultivated, that it still may be rising.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The Fire Next Time

Will it be impossible to prevent a reelected President Obama from transforming America into something resembling a European welfare state? Or will citizens rise to decisive action in defense of ...
Politics & Policy

Mitt and Marriage

Mitt Romney isn’t exactly the dream candidate of social conservatives. Though no one doubts that the former Massachusetts governor is a devoted family man and a committed lifelong member of ...
Politics & Policy

Let the Bell Toll

There’s a kind of catholicism among journalists. We’re as susceptible as anyone to petty jealousies and hatreds of colleagues, but at the same time, we denizens of the print realm ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Tax Talk

For much of the fall campaign, the major domestic-policy debate between the presidential candidates has concerned taxes. In that debate Obama has taken a position he probably does not believe, ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Star System

Ever wonder why political pollsters ask us which candidate we would most like to have a beer with? Which one best understands “people like me”? Which one is like me? ...
Politics & Policy

Emotional Rescue

As a new-minted star in 1997, standing alongside Matt Damon and hoisting their screenwriting Oscar for Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck seemed to embody Hollywood as we all wish it ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Freedom from Government Education . . . I just read Kevin D. Williamson’s article on homeschoolers, “The Last Radicals” (October 15), and thought it perfectly articulated the way I feel about ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ How could President Obama not know that the Benghazi raid was a terrorist attack? He must read the New York Times. ‐ In the second and third debates, Mitt Romney ...
The Long View

Harvard University Memorandum

TO:         Prof. Barack Obama FROM:  Dean, Faculty of Arts & Sciences IN RE:    Fall Semester 2013 Student Evaluations Summary Dear Professor Obama: Of course, everyone on the Government Department faculty is thrilled to have ...
Athwart

We the People

You never get the debate performance you want, do you? A young man at a town-hall meeting stammers out a plaintive bleat about poor job prospects for college grads, and ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

ROSES AND THORNS Our neighbor died as winter ended. Across the street from the rose bush, rich with blooms, is a new for-sale sign, and grass that needs cutting. His wife died almost ten years ...
Happy Warrior

The Court Predator

Jimmy Savile is entirely unknown to Americans. Which is as it should be. He was a British disc jockey and children’s-TV host, but, even by the debased standards of those ...

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
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