Magazine November 29, 2021, Issue


St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, N.Y. (Jon Bilous/Getty Images)

Past rich hotels and gated snowy parks,
Steel bridges spanning and subway trains rattling
The stations of the living and the dead,
I follow the unreasoning river to

A building like a ship that’s lost the tide.
In that stone hull or nave, the elements
Revert to early versions of themselves,
Maintaining order as I enter, watching

Till the depths appear to be familiar,
Heavy doors anchoring down the stillness,
While the tight blood threads the ego’s maze,
And the old mind recuperates its bearings.

Sole occupant of this unbusy world,
Abject as a shipwreck where she kneels,
A crone holds out, salvaging her substance
With the long groaning pulley of her beads.

We have no …

To Read the Full Story

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Become a Member
Novelist and critic Lee Oser teaches English at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

End Roe

In this special issue, we examine the legal arguments, the policy arguments, and the social arguments for finally ending the Roe era in America.

The Law

The Policy

The Social Impact

Books, Arts & Manners


Weird English

A review of Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme — and Other Oddities of the English Language, by Arika Okrent.


The Week

The Week

Glenn Youngkin unlocked the secret to electoral success in a Virginia that hadn’t elected a Republican statewide in twelve years.


The Latest