Featured Pieces

On Being Asked What's New featured1

On Being Asked What’s New

Nothing’s new anymore. The vellum of a face on which is written, “Forty years, half a century.” I know that the volcano Laki caused a … [More]

The Essentials C. P. Cavafy feat

The Essentials: C. P. Cavafy

Go here to read a list of recommended versions of Cavafy by other poets, and here to read a list of recommended poems from book-length … [More]

The Essentials Wang Wei feat op

The Essentials: Wang Wei

  Going Back to Song Mountain A clear river is like a belt in the abundance of grass and bushes. On the road are few horses and … [More]

Ambient Life feat op

Ambient Life

You have invited some friends over for dinner, and each of them has brought along one or two friends, who each brought one or two more, … [More]

The Death of the Family Poem feat op

The Death of the Family Poem

If I built a stone wall, if I rebuilt a pre-modern wall rebuilt for millennia, if my fingertips bled from asperities exposed by capillary … [More]

Ida feat

Untainted by Suffering

Ida (directed by Paweł Pawlikowski, 2014) This black-and-white film, austere and beautiful, is set in Poland during the early 1960s, … [More]

Divine Fire feat

Divine Fire

“No more apocalypses!” the fanatics never cry. Extinction is bliss for those who resent human life. We mocked the fizzle of New Year’s … [More]

A Summer's Tale feat

A Summer’s Tale

This 1996 film was not released in the United States until 2014. By the time the late Éric Rohmer made it, his dialogue-driven epiphanies, … [More]

Red-winged blackbird (Andrea Westmoreland, Wikimedia Commons) and Tudor-era arches from the ruins of Netley Abbey (Gillian Moy, Wikimedia Commons).


The sun is a Tudor arch sustaining the sky. In a moment it will fall. Blackbirds with crimson suns on their wings squawk in protest, and … [More]