Magazine | February 6, 2017, Issue

Poetry

AT THE CHAPEL OF THE PINK SISTERS

The crosses on the convent roofs

Gleam sharply as the sun comes up.

— Wallace Stevens, “Botanist on Alp (No. 2)”

The March wind blows past the first of April,

Purple finches in the small tree are alert,

Driven to their perches by the equinox

As surely as it swells magnolia buds

Elaborately wrapped for Easter, timed

To bloom this year just at the moment when

March raids April on a cold day in Lent.

I used to see old friends here in their 30s.

Then, only nuns, of no particular age,

Except that they look younger every year.

I understand that happening with baseball

Players or police officers, or streets

Crowded with hundreds, all of whom seem younger

Than I. But the Sisters were a surprise.

The old friends? Gone, moved to Jersey, or just

Praying somewhere else besides this chapel

Halfway between Cathedral and Fairmount

Where the Pink Sisters never cease praying,

Across from the old brewer’s mansion,

Silently, knowing that Green Street has its

Portion of sorrow, and its share of peace.

The postern gate on 22nd Street

Might be from a Scott novel, excepting

That it’s not a fictional entranceway

But leads to a hidden reality

That a votaress on Green Street understands.

In This Issue

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Politics & Policy

Poetry

AT THE CHAPEL OF THE PINK SISTERS The crosses on the convent roofs Gleam sharply as the sun comes up. — Wallace Stevens, “Botanist on Alp (No. 2)” The March wind blows past the ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Against Big-Government Conservatism Samuel R. Staley argues for a permanent revolving-loan bank (“The Infrastructure Bank We Need,” December 31). Staley conditions his proposal on the bank’s being “properly designed and constrained,” ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ So there were no left-wing Puerto Rican transsexual terrorists in federal prison? ‐ Representative John Lewis (D., Ga.) announced that he would skip Donald Trump’s inauguration: “I don’t see this ...

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World

Trump’s Disgraceful Press Conference in Helsinki

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Culture

Questions for Al Franken

1)Al, as you were posting on social media a list of proposed questions for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, did it occur to you that your opinion on the matter is no more relevant than Harvey Weinstein’s? 2) Al, is it appropriate for a disgraced former U.S. senator to use the Twitter cognomen “U.S. ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Are Dumping Moderates

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