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Poetry Friday: “Ghazal: Woman at the Well”

By Carolyne WrightMarch 3, 2017

I’ve always found the ghazal form intriguing. Its couplets, all discrete, are linked by  a phrase repeated in each couplet’s second line. The changes rung on this repeated phrase are where much of a ghazal’s action takes place. In “Ghazal: Woman at the Well,” Carolyne Wright takes “the woman at the well” as her repeated phrase—the…

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Poetry Friday: “Bewilder”

By Katharine ColesFebruary 3, 2017

This is a poem about scale, about the awesome power of the Creator, who in turn gave humanity the power to create. And it’s about the power of a created being, and its potential to do good or evil. Here we have a whale sighting, her powerful fluke useable for constructive or destructive acts—“so many…

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A Conversation with Scott Derrickson, Part 1

By Nick OlsonDecember 14, 2016

Scott Derrickson is a director whose films include The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, and Deliver Us From Evil. His most recent film, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, is in theaters now. I had the chance to chat with Scott for Christianity Today in the summer of 2014, when news had just broke that he was Marvel’s choice. In this…

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Poetry Friday: “Recovery”

By Judith HarrisAugust 19, 2016

What I like about this poem is how it slides almost unnoticeably from a simple, upbeat view of life into increasing complexities and ambiguities. The title and opening stanza announce that this will be an unequivocally optimistic poem. But something a bit unnerving happens in the second stanza: that glorious golden sunflower’s head seems to…

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Adam Zagajewski’s Trench Warfare

By Peggy RosenthalJuly 5, 2016

“Writing poems is a duel / that no one wins…” As I’m reading the poem that opens with these words, I think: this could be describing my life. The poem is called “Writing Poems.” It’s by the superb contemporary Polish poet Adam Zagajewski, in his new collection, Unseen Hand. And in fact, nearly all the…

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The Erotic Powers of the Holy Spirit

By Elizabeth DuffyFebruary 2, 2016

My thirteen-year-old son had seen the Viagra commercials for years, but never understood what they meant, until finally, he asked what Viagra is and does, and I told him. Now he has this new vocabulary that includes the phrase “erectile dysfunction,” and another galaxy of humorous opportunities has opened to him. He begins to explore…

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A Metaphorical God, Part 1

By Gregory WolfeJanuary 4, 2016

The following is adapted from the preface to The Operation of Grace: Further Essays on Art, Faith, and Mystery. My God, my God, thou art a direct God, may I not say a literal God, a God that wouldst be understood literally and according to the plain sense of all that thou sayest? but thou…

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Thou Shalt Not Kill Time: The Ethics of Storytelling

By Daniel TaylorSeptember 14, 2015

Is The Great Gatsby a crime novel? (There’s a murder.) Crime and Punishment? (It’s in the title.) Moby Dick? (Oh the whales!) People like to make distinctions between mystery, crime, and detective fiction. But what’s the essence of a good mystery? What are the boundaries of what constitutes a crime? How narrowly professional or intentional does a character have to be to be considered a detective? And how do any of the novels in this loose genre relate to literary fiction?

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Choose Ye This Day Thy Paradox

By Vic SizemoreOctober 27, 2011

I am not overly interested in the so called battle between Science and Religion. I have my opinions, but my deep interest is elsewhere. It just seems to keep popping up around me lately. In response to my last post, Beth Bevis wrote that what she noticed was how “people need a sense of transcendence…

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The Mystery in Materials

By Jeffrey OverstreetMay 26, 2011

Last week, I witnessed the Big Bang. More specifically—I enjoyed a sneak preview of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. The film’s publicity company will chop off my hands if I publish a review before opening day. But I’ll tell you this: Malick’s movie did more than catapult me back in time to witness the…

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