Magazine | October 6, 2014, Issue

Poetry

THE SAGE

I was looking for you in the garden.

Above pink poppies and white cleome

I saw scarlet blossoms, a sweet cluster

I could not name without you near. Then

A strange voice came from the juniper

Against the wall, asking my name,

The high, cracked voice of an old woman

Hiding herself from mankind and the sun.

So. She has turned herself into a tree.

I introduced myself to the guardian spirit.

She said, “Aha! You must be the poet!”

When I asked her how she knew that,

She said she was so old she knew everything.

“I know when to come in out of the sun,

When to see or be seen, speak or listen;

I know when I’m too weary for gardening.”

I wanted to ask if she had seen a young

Woman nearby, but held my tongue,

Asking instead if she could name the flower

Whose scarlet petals in bracts tinted red

Shone on high stalks. “Bee-balm,” she said.

“Bees love it, all very well if you’re a bee,

But not fit for a serious man or an old lady.

Now, here’s a plant made for your poetry.

Blue sage: Breeds wisdom and maybe

Immortality. Take some of these

And leave the scarlet for the honey bees.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Hagan Hiding

Raleigh, N.C. — In North Carolina’s closely watched U.S. Senate race between Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis, the former is the incumbent. But she doesn’t sound like it. ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Morality and Power

In 1976 Ronald Reagan confronted President Gerald Ford with one of the most grueling primary challenges any incumbent president has ever faced. The fight went to the floor of the ...
Politics & Policy

A Green Scam

In this corner, we have a human-rights lawyer representing the interests of indigenous people in the Amazon residing in a remote corner of Ecuador polluted by the by-products of oil ...
Politics & Policy

Disappearing Act

First, a critic’s confession: Since becoming a father, I can no longer quite trust my emotional reactions at the movies. Parenthood stretches the carapace around your feelings thin, makes the ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letter

Ida Armed In the illustration for your August 25 cover (“The Great Equalizer”), Roman Genn sketched Ida B. Wells brandishing what appears to be a Remington rolling-block rifle — a single-shot ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ New administration line: We are not not at war with the Islamic State. ‐ President Obama’s speech on his new Iraq war ventured onto the shaky ground of theology. “ISIL ...
Athwart

Political Suicide

‘Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.” So said Nancy Pelosi, speaking on the civilizational apex that is Bill Maher’s show. ...
Politics & Policy

A Half-Hearted Fight

The president announced a campaign to destroy the Islamic State. This is welcome after the willful indifference the president has exhibited to the rise of the Islamic State and the fate ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE SAGE I was looking for you in the garden. Above pink poppies and white cleome I saw scarlet blossoms, a sweet cluster I could not name without you near. Then A strange voice came ...
Happy Warrior

Embrace the Suck

Is it just me or does it seem like every time Ted Cruz has a Great Idea, conservatives end up fractious and divided and fighting among ourselves for two weeks ...

Most Popular

Elections

Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More
Education

Ivy-League Schools Wither

A  number of liberal bastions are daily being hammered — especially the elite university and Silicon Valley. A Yale and a Stanford, or Facebook and Google, assume — for the most part rightly — that each is so loudly progressive that the public, federal and state regulators, and politicians would of ... Read More
Elections

In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More