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Merton Listens to the Requiem

By Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska Poetry

The bow drops. The baton slips from a hand. Can one conduct trees? In the Lacrimosa the violins rush to set up tall trunks in an autumn wood. In the chancel amber leaves flicker. Death descends from the pulpit, a traveling peddler in rented garb. The church cracks open like a jewel case. A vaulting…

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The Raising of the Bells

By Bruce Bond Poetry

Not only were the largest of the church bells cast in pits, there, beneath the thrusting of the tower, at times the earthly founding of a bell came first, when walls rose above the mold, above the flower of bronze they sexed with a clapper, then block-and-tackled from the ground into some hymn or other,…

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Warld in a Roar: The Music of James MacMillan

By Michael Capps Essay

An’ when we chasten’d him therefor, Thou kens how he bred sic a splore, An’ set the warld in a roar O’ laughing at us;— —Robert Burns, from “Holy Willie’s Prayer” THE MUSIC STARTS intimately, a simple chant-like tune sung by treble voices to the ancient words of Psalm 96: “O sing unto the Lord a…

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Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme

By Carol Ann Davis Poetry

Today it’s like water in the ear, a slow bleed in the brain, thinking of your bones and the marrow inside them. Last night, half-awake, I leaned into the siren as it passed and thought of Coltrane writing his liner-note prayer —it all has to do with it— and listened for the drumbeat of another…

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My Mother’s Visit

By Richard Jones Poetry

My mother was the first pianist I ever heard. All through childhood I was spellbound by her gift, her virtuosity. Now I welcome her to my house, show her the grand piano, and lift the lid to its full height and glory. I ask her to join me on the black bench. At ninety my…

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A Song before Dying

By Linford Detweiler Essay

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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A Conversation with Sam Phillips

By Jeffrey Overstreet Interview

In 1987, three years after Harper’s heralded her as the “Queen of Christian Rock,” Leslie Phillips sang these words: “You lock me up / with your expectations / Loosen the pressure you’ve choked me with / I can’t breathe.” That song appeared on an album called The Turning, and the title spoke of her decision…

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