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Singularly Ambiguous

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

SAMUEL Johnson, the great eighteenth-century critic, moralist, and wit, once said of the American revolutionaries: “How is it that the loudest yelps for liberty come from the holders of slaves?” I don’t know what Johnson’s friend, Edmund Burke—a proponent of American independence—said in response to this, but I rather hope it was: “Touché.” While I…

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Two-Way Traffic

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN A RECENT essay, poet Ira Sadoff issued a sweeping denunciation of what he calls the “spiritualization of American poetry.” Entitled “Trafficking in the Radiant” and published in the July/August American Poetry Review, the essay asserts that contemporary poets have been influenced by the resurgence of religiosity in our culture, with disastrous results. “My contention…

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Theodicy after City of God

By Joshua Robbins Poetry

If righteousness remains, it is moonlight glinting on the mica-flecked steps and waxed lips of barren concrete planters as midnight skaters’ kickflips grind oblivion near the courthouse sign’s annunciation where stragglers huddle in a delinquent arc against the wind’s cold dispensation of Guilty  and Not in which any joke like How do you  make God…

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Lives of the Minor Prophets

By John F. Deane Poetry

They, too, have stood, smitten and bemused, angered at the violence of kings, caught between a rock and the roiling ocean, between the glimpsed shadow of a retributive deity and the gentle features of he-who-is-to-come; they would fasten down the voice they hear calling to them, though they know there is no voice, only that…

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Ends of the Earth

By Charles Turner Short Story

JONQUIL EVANS TURNED off of the blacktop and drove toward the pines in the distance. Gravel sounded against her LeSabre. She drove gingerly, but on this afternoon in late November the makings of a holiday wreath meant more to her than her LeSabre’s fine finish. Her husband the judge was good to her. Sometimes it almost…

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Orpheus in the Garden

By Andrew Hudgins Poetry

In the garden of the Hesperides, where the golden apples grew, Orpheus caressed strings that out-sang the sirens, charmed hell, and softened the heart of Death. The hills crept close to listen, and marvelous trees, full of dumbstruck birds, bent toward him. —————The great crowd too bent forward, tense. Keepers stabbed torches into the starved…

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