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

Late April Snow Storm

From the April 2024 Print Edition

The land is all alight with Easter colors,Tulips in pink and orange bending overThe clumps of daffodils just past first flowering.Even the tips of lilacs, rough and brittle,Begin to round themselves with pregnant green.But all this sinks, today, beneath new weightAs sudden blooms of white descend in . . . . Continue Reading »

Sweet Land of Michigan

From the December 2023 Print Edition

When my wife and I moved away from the Midwest some fifteen years ago, we began an age of perpetual homesickness. I’d tear up at the sight of Notre Dame’s stadium on Saturday football broadcasts, recalling our years in South Bend where I did my graduate studies, only just ended. I watched every . . . . Continue Reading »


From the March 2023 Print Edition

It seems a silly thing, an object ratherFor study by the great pathologists,That anyone should live in fear of Eros;But just think how their names have swelled to lists: The god who chased a woman to a tree;The Moor who crushed the breath within his love;That queen ensconced within a strange . . . . Continue Reading »

For Martha

From the November 2022 Print Edition

Busy with many things, I know you are,And watch you turn away and close the door.I see it in the way you drive your car,In how things clutter on your kitchen floor.Someone will advertise new ways to mend it,To find a method and a discipline,But you and they both know you’ll never end it,Just fall . . . . Continue Reading »


From the May 2022 Print Edition

The snow this morning falls on brook and rushIn great flakes wending slantwise without purpose,The sky above a wakening tent of grey.So does my daughter wake, and say she’s sad.For, sorrow sometimes strikes us with its bolt,But mostly is a kind of atmosphere.It doesn’t enter us. We enter it,And . . . . Continue Reading »