Grace in the Word: Samuel Menashe, 1925-2011

From Web Exclusives

The poet Samuel Menashe (whose work been printed many times in the pages of First Things) died in his sleep on August 22nd, at the age of 85. As the obituaries and tributes have noted, he had been the recipient of the first “Neglected Masters Award” from the Poetry Foundation in 2004, with his New and Selected Poems then being published by the Library of America… . Continue Reading »

Johnny Cash: One More Time

From Web Exclusives

As goes Scripture, so goes country music: The great lines are reused forever. Just listen to the final song that Johnny Cash composed, titled “I Corinthians 15:55,” and the refrain, which goes like this: Oh death, where is thy sting?
Oh grave, where is thy victory? Oh life, you are a shining path
… . Continue Reading »

Let There Be Music

From Web Exclusives

Recently Dan Cairns in the U.K. Times found listening to one of the songs from Paddy McAloon’s new album (recorded seventeen years ago but only released last week) to be a heartbreaking experience: “First, because, well, it’s so beautiful, it just is. Second, because you get such a clear sense of a supreme talent that you can’t help but mourn its subsequent concealment, and feel compassion for the concealer.” … Continue Reading »

Well, speaking of that guy…

From First Thoughts

I’ve been good for very little lately, distracted by an upper-respiratory-tract virus that conjures new symptoms with which to persecute me every day. This afternoon I found myself turning on the TV around the time that the memorial event for Michael Jackson was getting underway. I . . . . Continue Reading »

Doomed Again

From First Thoughts

The old Cole Porter song goes: Have you heard? It’s in the stars Next July we collide with Mars Well, did you evah? What a swell party this is! Well, it won’t happen next July—so far as anyone knows—but a study in the journal Nature suggests such a collision might well occur . . . . Continue Reading »

Private William Long laid to rest

From First Thoughts

In Conway, Arkansas, Pvt. William Long was laid to rest today. (Previously: An Attack in Little Rock. ) From the Associated Press via KUAR : About 200 people packed into the Harlan Park Baptist Church for the service. Standing behind his son’s open, flag-draped casket, Long’s father, . . . . Continue Reading »

Re: The Muslim World?

From First Thoughts

Hmmm. I take Jennifer Bryson’s point, via Nathaniel Peters , that in his speech President Obama used more precise and defensible terms than “the Muslim world.” Yet, by addressing “Muslim communities,” “Muslims around the world,” and “Muslim-majority . . . . Continue Reading »