Magazine September 2, 2013, Issue

Poetry

SPRING

My enemy had hatched her young,

Made real the heady boasts she’d sung,

And when I saw the cherished thing,

I vowed it would not fly or sing.

My talons tightened in its fluff.

Their points were digging deep enough

That blood and dung and shrieks sprang out –

This wasn’t what I’d thought about

All those weeks in my moldy hollow.

No, by all rights it didn’t follow

That, blood to blood, its heart, my pulse

Battered each other. It convulsed

Against no claws or hard joints now

But two plain, helpless hands. Yet how –

When, quickly as a lamp is lit,

It grew, then slashed and gouged and bit

Up in the harrow of the air –

Was I to take my prey back there?

I struck, I buckled. He might know,

Who hung, millennia ago

From nails like mine but did not leave

Even the predator to grieve.

But where was He? Nothing below

Appeared but damp trees, ragged snow,

Dead reeds — a dead end like a cave;

Like smoke, for all the light it gave.

My wings were shriveling, but I

Must make my way through that cold sky

To somewhere that could hardly be,

With what I’d taken into me.

Sarah Ruden’s most recent work is a translation of Augustine’s Confessions.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

How Nature Works

Our contemporary debates about evolution are basically an extension of the argument Christians have been having with one another since the Middle Ages, about how much autonomy God granted to ...
Politics & Policy

The Myth Maker

Lawrence of Arabia enjoys a prominent place in the mysterious and self-perpetuating realm of myth. This remarkable achievement has always depended on the impression he left of himself as both ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Poetry

SPRING My enemy had hatched her young, Made real the heady boasts she’d sung, And when I saw the cherished thing, I vowed it would not fly or sing. My talons tightened in its fluff. Their ...
Happy Warrior

The Blasphemy Police

In 2010, the bestselling atheist Richard Dawkins, in the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post, called the pope “a leering old villain in a frock” perfectly suited to “the ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

A Dissent on Dissenting I write in response to Arthur Herman’s article, “Sensitive SEALs,” in the August 5 National Review. I am a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer, and I agree ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Detroit is dead and al-Qaeda is alive. ‐ A group of conservative senators, most prominently including Ted Cruz, hopes to defund Obamacare by forcing a government-shutdown fight over a so-called ...
Athwart

Keep Off the Grass

A rodeo clown in Missouri has been banned from rodeo-clowning for the rest of his life because he wore an Obama mask and subjected our president to ridicule. Tough break; ...

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U.S.

Women’s Sports Should Be Women’s Sports

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Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More

Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars

He who follows Freedom, let him leave his homeland, and risk his life. — Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet, 1832 Last week my wife Hope and I traveled to Boca Chica, Texas, to meet with Elon Musk. While we talked inside the SpaceX onsite headquarters, a mariachi band played outside, providing entertainment for ... Read More

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He who follows Freedom, let him leave his homeland, and risk his life. — Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet, 1832 Last week my wife Hope and I traveled to Boca Chica, Texas, to meet with Elon Musk. While we talked inside the SpaceX onsite headquarters, a mariachi band played outside, providing entertainment for ... Read More

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The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More