Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

She writes it with a quill pen, so they say,
On cream-smooth vellum (paper she refuses).
A photo of three granddaughters at play
Sits on her desk to supplement the Muses.

Her subjects? Cats, and apple pies, and toys;
Quilted covers, macramé, and knitting;
A nest of robin’s eggs, the happy noise
Of birthday party games, and sparrows flitting.

And all throughout this theme park of contentment,
This playland of the placid and the cute,
Not one word of corruption or resentment,
Of competition, hatred, or dispute
Or anything that hints a human life
Might know the wolf-howl, or the jagged knife.

—Joseph S. Salemi


Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift