If this old fallen world can look so great,
If even fallen birds can have such state
They land their narrow fingers on a tree,
And make a stem a stage to sing a glee
Of unrestricted wild tempestuous notes,
Crying command and all command connotes
To this unvarnished helter-skelter earth,
If robins gather trash to spin a berth
For holding open wide the maws of chicks
That squawk for breakfast, just a sodden mix
Of worms and insect tenderloin, and then
(Barely with time to feather up by when
They get their cue, their mother’s push and shove),
They land upright and strut with wondering love
Upon the moisture-laden April ground,
Dispensing prodigal melodious sound –
They give — but never poor, not once crestfallen –
Thus so our world — imagine the unfallen.

August 13, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, NO. 15

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Steven Hayward reviews How to Think Seriously about the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism, by Roger Scruton.
  • Samuel R. Staley reviews Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future, by Grover G. Norquist and John R. Lott Jr.
  • Scott Winship reviews The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, by Timothy Noah.
  • Florence King reviews Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, by Thomas Penn.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Richard Brookhiser offers Kerouacian haikus.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .