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Seeing the Whole

A few years ago, I visited Albi, a small town in southern France famed for its Cathedral of Saint Cecilia. Constructed of the rose-colored brick typical of the region, the building was begun in the thirteenth century, about a hundred years after the Albigensian Crusade against the region’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Easter Vigil

You’re rising somewhere in the April nightAgain, as ever with returning spring.Your tomb will be found empty at first light Again. The dead cells of Your corpse igniteAnd flame to life; the spheres of Heaven ring.You’re rising somewhere in the April night To glory. For a moment all is right;The . . . . Continue Reading »

The World Turned Upside Down

After the Second World War, American intellectuals promoted a grand narrative about the origins and development of Western civilization. The purpose of this narrative was less academic than political. Its goal at home was to catechize a diverse country in an open-ended story that celebrated the . . . . Continue Reading »

All Bright Things

At Chartres, we see the stained glass windows slumpfrom centuries of gravity, becomingthicker glass at bottom than the top,like waterfalls of slow and liquid sand. In Athens, temples, sculpture, palaceshad first been painted bright as Disneyland,but when the paint was gone we strangely likedthem . . . . Continue Reading »

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