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

Body Shadows

From the January 2009 Print Edition

Once upon a time the Chairman ordered the complete destruction of the “Four Pests” plaguing China: bedbugs, roaches, rats, and sparrows. Bourgeois birds, he called the sparrows. Sparrows stole the seed the farmers sowed and compromised the harvests. So, throughout the country, loyal . . . . Continue Reading »

Friend, in the Desolate Time

From the May 2003 Print Edition

Friend, in the desolate time, when your soul is enshrouded in darkness When, in a deep abyss, memory and feeling die out, Intellect timidly gropes among shadowy forms and illusions Heart can no longer sigh, eye is unable to weep; When, from your night-clouded soul the wings of fire have fallen And . . . . Continue Reading »