Magazine May 1, 2017, Issue

Poetry

Fog covers the Inntal valley as the sunrise is seen from the Hundskopf mountain in the western Austrian village of Gnadenwald, Austria. (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters)

WHAT CAME BEFORE

When the mists of antiquity roll down the

mountain with what came before written history,

before the celestial irresolution of dark and light,

when persistent survival was a near miracle,

at the time when forms of worship came to be

for the earth goddess, where dreams and

the tangible world were all of the same cloth,

where distinctions, the words of separation,

had not yet found their way, every conversation

held an implicit understanding, holy-man magic, in the

same word, a light of different meanings, where all who

lived were of the same constellation, and understood.

There was, of place, a lyrical beauty to life,

and to language, as of worship, even with

an over-the-hill terror of unknown, armed men,

and nightmares with beasts no one had ever seen;

the irresolution of dark and light, thought of

together as good and evil, the torn clouds

of the heavens and the heart, the living mist,

the motion of life and the mind, the forms

of twilight and also of peace, where the law that

shall come to be, and the love by which it must

live and die, come as one down the mountain,

gentle and silent, enveloping priest and scribe.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

More Food, Fewer Farmers Robert D. Atkinson’s piece “In Defense of Robots” (April 17) made me reflect on the great impact that advances in technology have had on my own ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ It takes a special talent to come off as the bad guy in a conversation about Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler. ‐ Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s national-security adviser, admits, after ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WHAT CAME BEFORE When the mists of antiquity roll down the mountain with what came before written history, before the celestial irresolution of dark and light, when persistent survival was a near miracle, at the ...

Most Popular

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Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More
White House

The GAO’s Report

The Government Accountability Office issued a short report yesterday concluding that the administration had broken the law in freezing aid to Ukraine last summer. A common response from the president’s defenders has been that the GAO has found such violations of the law on many occasions, and the press did not ... Read More
White House

The GAO’s Report

The Government Accountability Office issued a short report yesterday concluding that the administration had broken the law in freezing aid to Ukraine last summer. A common response from the president’s defenders has been that the GAO has found such violations of the law on many occasions, and the press did not ... Read More