Magazine | February 25, 2013, Issue

Poetry

SMOOTH AS A WHISPER

The North Star,

being the one around which

the others appear to circulate,

is the one by which

we actually navigate,

and have for millennia.

A deep-seated awareness

of thunder in the distance

will not bring the storm.

It could go elsewhere.

Our understanding of the still point

is always caught up

with the time when

the storm comes;

it is where the mind goes,

it is what we remember.

When the storm goes elsewhere,

we forget.

The mind that thinks upon the infinite

will ever be caught up in experience,

limited and colored, yet no less true.

The life we live

is driven by the arrow of time,

is colored by its spinning feathers,

holds the secrets of its shaft,

bears its own point of truth,

and feels the gravity

of its passage

in the endpoint we call death.

There are, after all, so many stars;

the pattern of the archer

moves slowly with them

as an ancient truth of legend,

and the clouds, smooth

as a whisper, have moved on.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Coal Meets Markets

While Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign fades in the rear-view mirror, the issues he ran on — particularly, his charge that President Obama is engaged in an economically disastrous “war ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Amnesty Anew

On consecutive days in January, two immigration proposals were put forward. The first was by Senators Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio, representing the Gang of Eight — Democrats Schumer (N.Y.), ...
Politics & Policy

States of Conservatism

Inauguration Day 2013 was a moment of jubilation for conservatives. After four years of lackluster economic growth and a series of personal and policy mistakes, the incumbent chief executive, a ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

It’s Not about Bigotry

‘What we have come to call the gay-marriage debate is not directly about homosexuality, but about marriage,” declare the authors of this timely polemic. Few advocates of same-sex marriage will ...
Politics & Policy

Movie Crazy

Over a lifetime of moviegoing, I’ve seen more heartwarming flicks about the mentally ill than I care to admit, but until now I’m not sure I had ever seen one ...
City Desk

Iron Men

I see my trainer, Shawn, three days a week, and one day he told me something that had happened the last time he had been at the new Barclays Center ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Keeping Up with the Trapps My six-year-old daughter and I both enjoyed your reprint of Aloïse Buckley Heath’s piece on trying to emulate the Trapp family’s Advent activities. I, too, have ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Chinese hackers penetrated the New York Times system. Maybe they wanted to be Tom Friedman for a day. ‐ Who is that, clinging to his shotgun? It looks like President ...
Athwart

The Magic Bullet

Why does President Obama want to put weapons of war into the hands of criminals? What sort of craven, stone-hearted monster can be so beholden to the cackling goblins of ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

SMOOTH AS A WHISPER The North Star, being the one around which the others appear to circulate, is the one by which we actually navigate, and have for millennia. A deep-seated awareness of thunder in the distance will not ...
Happy Warrior

Ghost Cities

In a dispute between Hamas and Fatah, it’s tempting to take the old Kissinger line re the Iran–Iraq War: It’s a shame they can’t both lose. But, in fact, only ...

Most Popular

U.S.

How to Bend the News

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not: Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass ... Read More
U.S.

Trump’s Total Culture War

 Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former president George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of ... Read More
World

Iran’s Act of War

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is ... Read More
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