Magazine | October 5, 2015, Issue

Poetry

HOW WORDS USE US

Words are the only way we have to tell

Of far horizons hurtling into space,

Or how a swaying limb invokes a spell

On stars, to jostle them back into place.

Syllables follow hollows in a rock,

And mourn the heavy fallen heads of flowers

That, spent, drop seeds as surly skies that mock

Withhold the comfort of warm sudden showers.

We are the ill-tuned instruments they choose

To work their magic on the scenery –

A clumsy apparatus that they use

To bring a poem in focus, as each tree

Reaches toward heaven in this earthly night

With shadowed petals, twigs traced dark on light.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Break Up the Budget

Republicans are once again contemplating a defeat on the budget followed by recriminations. This season the defeat will concern Planned Parenthood: Some Republicans think that they should take a stand ...
Politics & Policy

Social Justice at War

Fallujah, May 17, 2018 — The results of the classified investigation into the first extended ground-combat engagement by a mixed-gender infantry platoon were grim indeed. The six-hour firefight on a ...
Politics & Policy

Goodbye, McKinley

With a stroke, President Obama changed the name of Mount McKinley to “Denali.” “Denali” is an Indian name, or indigenous name. “McKinley,” obviously, is not. No doubt, Obama thought he ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Inequality Cycle

By one measure, opportunity and mobility are thriving in America. Children born into the lowest income quintile have almost exactly equal chances of arriving in any of the five income ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Not Inevitable

It’s entirely possible that the legal battle over same-sex marriage was lost for lack of Ryan Andersons. There simply weren’t enough people like him — people capable of making a ...
Politics & Policy

The Real Detective

Aside from Edgar Allan Poe (who, after all, pretty much invented the detective story), the most significant figure in the history of American mystery fiction is Dashiell Hammett, who brought ...
Politics & Policy

In the Arena

The first movie I ever reviewed in these pages, almost ten years ago, was a mediocre adaptation of All the King’s Men, in which Sean Penn was miscast as the ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

We Can Handle the Truth Thanks to David Pryce-Jones for his article “The Truth-Teller” (September 7) about Robert Conquest, who exposed the atrocities of the Soviet Communists in the 20th century. While ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The British Parliament voted against assisted suicide — except in the case of the Labour party. ‐ Joe Biden mulls his presidential options; on the same swing through New York ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

HOW WORDS USE US Words are the only way we have to tell Of far horizons hurtling into space, Or how a swaying limb invokes a spell On stars, to jostle them back into ...

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More