Poetry

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Poem | Aunt Grace Wears Beautiful Clothes

Asleep, she has no idea she is old. // She’s running uphill, no lightfoot, but quite fast / past the houses and driveways of family friends / toward the higher...

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

'James Merrill: Life and Art'

Langdon Hammer's biography of poet and writer James Merrill is "wholly definitive" in scope, and threaded throughout with Merrill’s brilliant, always enlivening wit.

Poetry | Migrations

Routes take shape / as flight takes root, / and lines of geese, / miming tide look // more like unbound / scripture, the past...

The Age of the Crisis of Man

Many modern American thinkers have asked, often and with anxiety, "What is man?" In his latest book, Mark Greif thinks we've outgrown this—and it's a good thing.

Poem | The Instants

After last night’s rain, the world begun again—you know what I mean, you have been here often...

Poem | Celebration

It picks up the speed of streaming recall / and takes us off post-equinox able to signify. // Or so I guess: Ninety is old, I / keep telling myself...

Poem | The Flamingo

The pink of her plumage is borrowed from the shells of shrimp she snaps from the muddy grasses, as step-by-step she extends her stride across a kingdom not...

Two Poems | 'Sunday Morning' & 'I Say'

Sunday Mornings   I’ve never found another name for Heaven except heaven-here—this walk around the block— our meeting-place-between we...

Poem | Some Octaves on Holy Orders

for Thomas Meagher and Ryan Justin Adams, Presbyters Non sum qualis eram   A vestibule bathed in stained glass light for naming and claiming, chrism and...

Moral Agents

Mailer, Trilling, Macdonald, Kazin, Maxwell, Bellow, Auden, O'Hara—men with public moral concerns, who seized power to shape American literature. But who were they?
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