Magazine | June 27, 2016, Issue

Poetry

ALTAR

The altar of the great cathedral

brings indoors something of the majesty

of the open sky, as the architect

lifts the eyes of all from the altar

to the wide beauty and precision

of the ceiling, jeweler’s art in the sky,

a world, in its refinement and artistry,

of museums as much as of worship.

This is a hallowed ground far different

from the wilderness altar of Moses,

his burnt offering at the high place

at Gibeon. It is our place to be

grateful for different gifts at different times.

From a heritage of thousands of years,

of the written word, saints, orthodoxies;

of priests, interpreters, wars, revisions,

and renewals; worship wears very

different vestments from the rough cloth of

religion hewn from the desert, from the

wilderness, where orthodoxies are tribal,

and living by cohesion essential for

survival of both group and individual.

Weather permitting, the greater gift lies

with a cross lashed together from sticks,

deep in the forest, upon an altar

simple as a fallen log, brushed clean;

its moment of clarity, silence, and

prayer, through the tall trees, where great

shafts of light are the majesty of Heaven;

and the hand of man, an afterthought.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Trump U. charged outrageous sums for worthless instruction, left graduates woefully unprepared for the job market, and bombarded students with meaningless jargon and self-affirming slogans. Sounds like a legit ...
Athwart

Secret Agent Woman

In case you haven’t been following the important debates on the Internet this year, people are wondering why James Bond can’t be a woman and why Captain America can’t be ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

ALTAR The altar of the great cathedral brings indoors something of the majesty of the open sky, as the architect lifts the eyes of all from the altar to the wide beauty and precision of the ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Spiritual Self-Interest In the Week (April 11), a comparison between King David and Donald Trump was made. In describing David’s braveness, it was written: “As a boy, David fought his way ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Sad Finale

Spoilers Ahead. Look, I share David’s love of Game of Thrones. But I thought the finale was largely a bust, for failings David mostly acknowledges in passing (but does not allow to dampen his ardor). The problems with the finale were largely the problems of this entire season. Characters that had been ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More
World

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More