Magazine | May 6, 2013, Issue



I looked out on Montmartre and I wept.

So many roofs of straight slate, gray and blue,

the terra-cotta stovepipes all that kept

a hint of warmth and roundness in the view.

I sank against the fencing and I wrote,

pulling down my hat’s stiff, woven brim,

to pry the hemline of my overcoat

from where it had been caught on railing trim.

The simple motions of a simple soul

laboring to breathe at such a height –

ashamed, almost, unable to control

what caused the crowds no trouble at this sight.

We ordinary hordes, aboard this terrace:

musicians, jocks, performing artists, mimes,

so casually overlooking Paris

in covert, patient penance for our crimes.

My overwhelming flood of feeling gone,

I joined the pilgrimage, with drier peers,

lacking that protection from the sun

used nonchalantly to disguise my tears.

Requesting, “S’il vous plait, mais votre chapeau . . .”

a greeting usher smiled, “. . . remove it, please,”

forbidding interruption in the flow

of visitants through clerics on their knees.

Thus we filed — uncovered dust — the dim

interior become my second veil.

The usher passed, I gripped my hat’s bent brim.

We passed medallion images for sale.

The Virgo Pacis missing one wrought square

within the golden gateway to her shrine,

she nonetheless possessed the only prayer

petitioned from those seekers out of line.

We passed much holiness, but I returned,

revisiting the Virgin with her six

white, massive candles, upright and unburned

above the votives with their low, scarred wicks.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Borg Queen

It is a rare thing when human events run ahead of science-fiction predictions. Usually, we’re years behind: According to George Orwell, we should have been living under the boot heel ...


Politics & Policy

Michael Poppins

A few years ago, after an enjoyable match at the nearby Victoria Cricket Club, I arrived at Rustico, a fine restaurant in the small village of Flatts at the western ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

King Roger

A few years ago, Zev Chafets wrote a book about Rush Limbaugh. Now he has written a book about Roger Ailes. He seems to be making a specialty of larger-than-life ...
Politics & Policy

Tilting Left

The question is not whether college professors are liberal. That much is certain, as one can ascertain by asking any college graduate — or consulting reams of survey data. The ...


Politics & Policy


AT LA BASILIQUE DU SACRÉ-COEUR DE MONTMARTRE I looked out on Montmartre and I wept. So many roofs of straight slate, gray and blue, the terra-cotta stovepipes all that kept a hint of warmth ...
Happy Warrior

The Bickering Genocides

Justin Bieber, my successor as Canada’s teen heartthrob, is currently touring Europe. Passing through Amsterdam, he was taken to visit the Anne Frank House and afterwards signed the guest book. ...
Politics & Policy


On Location In “Where She’s Coming From” (April 22), Florence King asserts that the movie Love Story “was actually filmed at Fordham.” Perhaps some of the scenes were filmed at Fordham, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ As one wag has said, “The worst part about being a domestic terrorist is all those midterms you have to grade in 20 years.” ‐ The bombing of the Boston ...

The Obvious Explanation

Conspiracy theories about the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing began immediately. Of course. Just like 9/11. On that grim day, you’ll recall, we learned that several foreigners acting on orders from ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More