Poetry

Poem | El Greco's Evangelist

Paint. Paint the soft lines / of damp cheeks across a canvas. / Paint the deep eyes, the little / hand and the orb. / Splash some color along the curve / of her...

The Year of Lear

You don’t need to be a thespian to appreciate James Shapiro's "Year of Lear"—a brilliant, meticulously researched history of social tensions that inspired the play.

Poem | In Parentheses

As I said, I’m a lawyer. Technically speaking, / is a head blown to pieces by a smart bomb a beheading? // Infinitely compressible, yet expandable time...

Poem | The Other Heaven

On nights with little moon or none, / the near-blind great-grandmother settles / in her chair in the middle of the orchard, / bare branches or...

Poems | 'A Lot of Ways' & Two Other Poems

There are a lot of ways to love the world, / be loved by it. Start with the sounds / of it: cello suite, hum of sander. ...

Poems | 'Believe' & 'Place'

Yes, I can be there / enclosed in my dark skin / wanting everything / my eyes can reach / not always available / to the length of my arms. ...

Letters of James Agee to Father Flye

Spanning almost James Agee's entire lifetime, these letters between author and his priest cover alcohol, God, poetry, childhood, and a “mouthful of sweet potato.”

Poem | Which

At the Fifth Station of the Cross / I am asked to “accept in particular / the death that is destined for me” / Which I must keep myself from guessing...

Poem | He Came Like a Baby

To take on flesh, / hunger and thirst. / To learn pain. // Born without words / the Word, where angels sang / his cry rose in the midnight air...

Poem | Gunflint Lake: Sunset

A fiery sun / made a path toward us / on the rippled water / and scattered pink shavings / over the rest...

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...

Commonweal Interviews

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