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To an Unborn Child

From the December 2018 Print Edition

Storm clouds move in and darken all the house,    The morning paper on the kitchen table dim,Where I’ve been reading some reporter’s grouse    At things already bad, now growing grim.    Most of the prodigies agree with him. I rise to light a lamp, and hear the . . . . Continue Reading »

Autumn Road

From the October 2017 Print Edition

I follow the clean-edged macadam northTo catch the train. The maples lining bothSides hang with leaves turned soft but brilliant reds,Oranges, and umbers that will make their bedsSoon in the unmown grass that lines my street,And crumble at the weight of passing feet.The people who just moved in . . . . Continue Reading »

Tate Unmodern

From the Aug/Sept 2017 Print Edition

Allen Tate: The Modern Mind and the Discovery of Enduring Loveby john v. glass iiithe catholic university of america, 376 pages, $59.95 I well remember sitting up half the night annotating Allen Tate’s “Ode to the Confederate Dead” in my Norton anthology. As do I remember reading for the first . . . . Continue Reading »

XII. Jesus Dies on the Cross

From the April 2017 Print Edition

His limbs splayed, writhing, as he hung there, Murmuring of a kingdom somewhere The Roman guards had never been, The sun beat on his darkened head. He barely heard what the good thief said, So swollen and plugged his ears were then. “I thirst,” his mother heard him cry. “Why have you left me . . . . Continue Reading »

A Catholic Poet?

From the Aug/Sept 2016 Print Edition

The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevensby paul marianisimon & schuster, 496 pages, $30 It was the first great American poem of modern atheism. Wallace Stevens’s “Sunday Morning” (1915) opens with a woman in a peignoir, relaxing in the morning sun with her coffee and oranges. Her . . . . Continue Reading »

On a Young Writer

From the January 2016 Print Edition

By practice skill is got, by practice wit is won.—George Turberville On being asked by a young friend of mineThe surest way to make himself an author,I said he ought to read line after lineOf dense and brilliant books; taking the “bother”To memorize their tricks and ticks, the waysMeaning . . . . Continue Reading »