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

Talking All Night

From the January 2020 Print Edition

I asked my friend, the poet,how she was getting by.“Work and tears,”came her reply. “And listening,” she added,“in silence, to be sure.I listen closernow than before. It is a lot like reading,a thing I loved to do . . .What book felt likefirst love to you?” “It was in French,” I . . . . Continue Reading »


From the March 2017 Print Edition

Give to Caesar what is his,namely, everything there is.I see a lot of eyebrows raised.Let’s check the books. You’ll be amazed.An x. An o. A hug and kiss.Render unto Caesar this.Render unto Caesar that.His the dog, his the cat.Render up your reading time.Render, too, your reverie.Render up the . . . . Continue Reading »

Animal Psalms

From the June/July 2008 Print Edition

The Skunk (Psalm 23) I am anointed too, brushed with his broad mark. He leads me safely through the alley in the dark. The Mockingbird (Psalm 98) Hub of the whirligig, he is my perch and poise. I pour from a high twig a round of joyful noise. The Sheep (Psalm 119) Tepid, woolly, I stray, leaving . . . . Continue Reading »