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Sweat The Small Stuff

One cause of American society’s shift to the left over the past six decades has been a series of subtle acts of “progress” that, at their inception, did not appear to be political at all. Only after their acceptance did their implications become clear. An example, one (­apparently) far from . . . . Continue Reading »


When all goes ill instead of well,There is no remedy but love.Test after test, results do tellWhen all goes ill instead of well.Our words and deeds each stint or spellReveal what we are both made of.When all goes ill instead of well,There is no remedy but love. —Jane Blanchard Image by . . . . Continue Reading »

Dinner at Gautreau's

I’m seated at Gautreau’s, uptown, with Laine,fine student, now good friend. Obliged to bookan early hour—few choices in this bane,the Covid sequel—we take time to look at wine lists, menus, chatting; appetite’saroused thereby, and memories. How wellshe wrote, with industry and her . . . . Continue Reading »


In his recent op-ed (“The Hypocrisy of Masks,” August/­September) exploring the theme of hypocrisy in C. S. Lewis’s works, Gilbert Meilaender presents a careless reading of Lewis’s last novel, Till We Have Faces. This inattention to the details of Orual’s story compromises his argument, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future ­Remains Open

Longtime fans of the Irish poet Derek ­Mahon had to laugh when, in the spring of 2020, he unexpectedly went viral. As part of an Instagram series organized by the Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke to provide “poetry for the heart and soul” during the pandemic, another superstar, . . . . Continue Reading »

First Light Last

You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you. It is trust, not certainty. —Flannery O’Connor And did you really think there would ever come a timewhen things would go as you’d dreamed they . . . . Continue Reading »

For Martha

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 »

Above It

It’s not that I don’t know it when I’m in it,searching for a spot to park my liquidassets or, faster than a New York minute,remit them into gritty circulation,while heels and tires haul their various freightaround for public estimated valuation. It’s just that, as the plane gains height and . . . . Continue Reading »

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