Magazine | November 21, 2016, Issue

Poetry

FIRST WORDS

And then I resolved that thenceforward I would choose for the theme of my writing only the praise of this most gracious being. But when I had thought exceedingly, it seemed to me that I had taken to myself a theme which was much too lofty, so that I dared not begin.

– Dante

A pounding in his heart gave him a shove –

    More like a slap — and set his mind to writing,

Ladies who have intelligence of love.

He had not slept for nights, but stared above

    Him at the ceiling till, upon its brightening,

A pounding in his heart gave him a shove,

As one might a small boat out from a cove

    To dare the open sea however frightening.

Ladies who have intelligence of love,

Such words ensnared his mind but his hand moved,

    Scoring with strokes the page as if it were lightning.

A pounding in his heart gave him a shove;

Yes, soon, he’d claim an angel or a dove

    Had whispered such words to him without flyting –

Ladies who have intelligence of love

But we who’ve felt love’s pain know the sort of

    Rough wrangling through which he had been fighting

When pounding in his heart gave him a shove:

Ladies who have intelligence of love.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Strange Superman

The Accountant, the new Ben Affleck action vehicle, is founded on a genuinely original idea. Indeed, I feel safe in ven­turing that nobody, in cinema or literature, has invented an ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Humble Experts The widespread connotation of “elitist” is one of arrogance and a haughtiness born not of achievement in the trenches but of patrician privilege. However, I feel certain this was ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We predict the morally dubious figure with an awful record in public life and much-remarked-upon blond hair will lose the election — and, unhappily, win it.  ‐ To former Bill ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

FIRST WORDS And then I resolved that thenceforward I would choose for the theme of my writing only the praise of this most gracious being. But when I had thought exceedingly, ...

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Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
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The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
Film & TV

A Sublime Christian Masterpiece of a Film

‘There are two ways through life -- the way of nature and the way of grace,” remarks the saintly mother at the outset of The Tree of Life, one of the most awe-inspiring films of the 21st century. She continues: Grace doesn’t try please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked, accepts insults ... Read More
PC Culture

Changing Reality with Words

The reinvention of vocabulary can often be more effective than any social protest movement. Malarial swamps can become healthy “wetlands.” Fetid “dumps” are often rebranded as green “landfills.” Global warming was once a worry about too much heat. It implied that man-made carbon emissions had so ... Read More