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Poetry Friday: “The Human Share”

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Here’s a brilliantly crafted poem which I love, even though it makes me a bit sea-sick. Bruce Bond’s poem “The Human Share” begins on familiar ground, with a well-known phrase from John’s gospel. But then in line 2, Christ’s salvific work is prefaced by “as if”—and the ground we’re on becomes shaky. “As if” implies…

The Beautiful Boy

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It’s barely even summer and already, in our house it is the Summer of the Guys. Our son is thirteen now, and in the last few months, the world has opened to him: he and his two best neighborhood friends start planning the day almost as soon as it has started. Freed to stay at…

Your Attention, Please

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Dear Friends: I received two emails recently from writers you likely know and admire. Like clockwork, I can expect an email from Annie Dillard a week after each new issue is published. Her response to issue #92 arrived right on schedule: “This is the best Image ever published. These writers stun me.” Then, the day after…

The Case For Charlie Gard

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Charlie Gard, the English child you see here, will likely die—indeed, by the time this is published, he may have already died. Charlie has Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome, which in short means that through some catastrophic chain of rare events, his bodily functions are failing him. No cure has been found for this disease. Still,…

Rectifying 2017

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During its four seasons from 2013 to 2016, Rectify was no stranger to critical praise. Nearly a year after the series finale, I think it’s time to mention Ray McKinnon’s series alongside the usual exemplars of television’s “golden age”—shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Wire. As I watched the series in…

Poetry Friday: “The Field”

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I find solace in the natural world, in those precious moments alone, outside, away from the clutter and din of my material life. In “The Field” by poet, teacher and translator Jennifer Grotz we are invited to an open field “past the convenience store and the train tracks.” She tells us that as a girl,…

How To Intuit a Book Title

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How do poets and writers choose their book titles? I didn’t have a good answer to the question, “Why did you choose the title Love Nailed to the Doorpost?” posed at a recent reading, though I knew that sooner or later that someone would ask. I did have a superficial answer, but I hadn’t thought…

The Mysteries of Revision

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When a former MFA professor asked me to come to her class and speak on revision, I immediately said yes. Not only was she a writer and an academic that I respected, there had been an ongoing, semi-inside, joke between me and some of my MFA cohort members about my desire to be acknowledged by…

Nonviolence and the Virtue of Hope

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It was nonviolence that initially brought me to my spiritual director, Fr. Bill Shannon. I was a new Christian, baptized into the Catholic Church at Easter in 1983. The very next month, the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference issued a pastoral letter called The Challenge of Peace. The context of the letter was the Cold War’s…

Poetry Friday: “The Fawn”

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Narrative poetry has its special challenge: how does it differentiate itself from prose? David Mason’s story of his family’s relation to a dying fawn does this in several ways. First there’s the iambic pentameter beat carrying us along. Then wordplay, beginning with the opening line: “The vigil and the vigilance of love.” There’s the internal…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

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