Chronicles Magazine Poetry

The Broken Promise of American Cities

There is a saying used in California when the going gets tough: “At least we have the weather.” No matter how expensive, dangerous, unclean, and generally inhospitable the state’s cities become, “at least we have the weather,” Californians say,...

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  • VIEWS

    Poet Against Empire

    When I mention that I am reading Robinson Jeffers, even cultivated and well-read people look bemused; the name seems obscure. By way of explanation, I borrow the closing words of the classic gangster film The Roaring Twenties: “He used to be a...

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  • REVIEWS

    Stepping Ashore

    The best poetry—great poetry—happens when sound, rhythm, and image bring about a mysterious feeling of wholeness that somehow draws mind, body, and spirit together in what both Yeats and Eliot envisioned as a unified dance.

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  • REVIEWS

    The Mystery of Things

    Near the end of Shakespeare’s King Lear, when all seems lost, Lear comforts his daughter Cordelia—like him, soon to die—by telling her that in prison they will contemplate “the mystery of things.” Both in this sense, and in another sense, the...

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  • Correspondence

    “Pity Poor Bradford”

    Bolling Hall has squatted on its plot since the 14th century, hunched against the wind and rain of the West Riding—a North Country architectural essay in dark yellow sandstone looking warily down a steep hillside onto Bradford’s Vale.

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