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The Revolt Against Narcissus

By Robert Cording Essay

IN A SCENE from book 4 of Milton’s Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve talk one evening of the glories of Eden and their unmerited free creation by God, unaware that they are being watched by Satan. This little scene takes place shortly after Satan’s shape-shifting arrival in Eden and serves as a kind of foreshadowing…

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Erasure

By Robert Cording Poetry

It’s what I need to practice, the lines of my life too neatly drawn around the comfort of being here. It’s why I’m out here again, in the middle of the field just as the day pauses between what is and what was, darkness rising up between the hemlocks and spruces that have brought their…

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Feature: Fully Human

By Multiple Authors Essay

Art and the Religious Sense To say that someone is “only human” is to say two things at once. We mean that person is flawed—and that this condition is no more than we should expect. Yet for all our awareness of human frailty and venality, we are haunted by visions of human flourishing, fullness rather…

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In Between

By Robert Cording Poetry

They had reasons to believe in God. Miracles helped. And their aftereffects must have lingered for a time, but then, the disciples needed to start walking again, one town to another, nothing in between but the hot, dusty road and a desert of sand and rock where not one thing required a moment’s appreciation. Just…

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Reading George Herbert

By Robert Cording Poetry

All he ever wanted was to disappear. But he kept coming upon himself as if he were a character in a story who, despite his best efforts to understand, remained inscrutable. How he tried to keep straight the difference between who the author said he was and who he thought he was. He told himself…

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After Love

By Robert Cording Poetry

Our opened mouths close, but the soft boundary of our bodies remains porous for a while longer. An exchange keeps going on between the darker afternoon light inside and the brighter light outside. The day is loosening its hold. Birds flash across the windows, unidentified. We are still not back from wherever it is we…

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The Field

By Robert Cording Poetry

I have often been afraid to think of Augustine thinking, his mind a field, he confesses, that must be worked with much cost and sweat, and he the farmer laboring. Just knowing how little one can know is enough for most, but not Augustine— whatever crept around in his mind had no right to privacy.…

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Mystery

By Robert Cording Essay

The Word-Soaked World Troubling the Lexicon of Art and Faith Since 1989, Image has hosted a conversation at the nexus of art and faith among writers and artists in all forms. As the conversation has evolved, certain words have cropped up again and again: Beauty. Mystery. Presence. For this issue, we invited a handful of…

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A Christmas Story

By Robert Cording Poetry

Sure, I’d had too much wine and not enough of the Advent hope that candles are lit for; and I’ll confess up front, I was without charity for our guest who, glassed in behind those black, small, rectangular frames, reminded me of those poems that coldly arrange a puzzle of non sequiturs to prove again…

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Bede’s Sparrow

By Robert Cording Poetry

In the middle of the day, I was lost in thought, staring at my newly dead father, or the portion of him the funeral home gave me back in a cheap little plastic urn I’d placed on my study’s mantle. I’d been reading about Bede’s sparrow, which, it turned out, was not Bede’s at all,…

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