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Briefly Noted

At ninety-four years old, Eva Brann is both the oldest and longest-serving tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, America’s premier Great Books liberal arts institution. She is also the most widely published member of the faculty, notable at a school aimed at cultivating the life of the mind . . . . Continue Reading »

Rime Ice

He wouldn’t say her memory was lostBut that she was lost in it—the foggy pastClung to her and calcified to frostUntil, at last, her very present passedThrough this shimmering glass of memory.He woke once to her sitting up in bed.The drawl he’d thought she’d left in KentuckyReturned in . . . . Continue Reading »


My deep thanks to Brad East for his piece on doing theology in a divided church (“Theology in Division,” April 2023). The topic is centrally important and rarely taken seriously, as if its obviousness renders the challenge uninteresting. East’s larger points about aiming at a catholic theology . . . . Continue Reading »

Litany of the Cross

Save us, O Holy Cross. Signpost of the times,Gnomon of the age,Axes of creation,Save us, O Holy Cross. Mast of a drifting planet,Plumb line of a crooked world,Knife of Caesar sectioning the globe,Downspout of the blood that waters the earth,Save us, O Holy Cross. Caltrop of the four . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

Dana Gioia has had an unusual and distinguished career as a poet, an executive with General Foods, and Chairman of the National Endowments for the Arts. In Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer’s Life, he describes mainly his early years as a prospective writer. The emphasis, . . . . Continue Reading »

City Nave

Stand on your head. You’ll see that she’s a boatWinding between the waves of wailing walls,Careening through the rush of siren-calls,A small ship on a violent ocean. SmoteBy sea-wind, still unyielding, she’s afloat,And unabashed by bitter gales and gallsShe sails through the city’s shifting . . . . Continue Reading »

Virgil in Limbo

“There is a place down there, not saddened by torments but only by darkness, where the laments do not sound as shrieks but are sighs.” —Purgatorio, VII: 29–31 What he did not do, his cause for grief.An eternity of regret.One long dark night without relief. Time to brood, never to . . . . Continue Reading »

Ash Wednesday

The clouds are fused with amber fireAs vultures climb a dirgy gyre,Babel building with each bird,Glutted on the primal Word.Later one lights on my head,Its talons tight, its wings still spread. —Steven Knepper Image by Jo Naylor via Creative Commons. Image cropped. . . . . Continue Reading »

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