I’m a sucker for a used book seller not to mention a box full of giveaway books.  Somewhere I picked up Poems of Whittier  published by Books, Inc., New York and Boston. I don’t suppose to be possessed of anything in the way preparation for appreciating prose or poetry but I enjoy them nonetheless for their … More Changes

“the last full measure of devotion”

Abraham Lincoln, moved to singularly historical solemnity, invoked in his Gettysburg Address a phrase to describe the highest and truest deference of self for fellow human being, for country, for cause, for belief, calling it, ” … the last full measure of devotion … “. William H. Pitsenbarger wouldn’t receive the Medal of Honor until … More “the last full measure of devotion”


by Howard Nemerov, from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (University of Chicago Press). The people in the elevator all Face front, they all keep still, they all Look up with the rapt and stupid look of saints In paintings at the numbers that light up By turn and turn to tell them where they … More Fiction

Horatius at the Gate

Horatius at the Bridge Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay (1800–1859) LARS PORSENA of Clusium, By the Nine Gods he swore That the great house of Tarquin Should suffer wrong no more. By the Nine Gods he swore it, “Horatius at the Gate” from Bartleby.com5 And named a trysting-day, And bade his messengers ride forth, East and … More Horatius at the Gate

O Ship of State

If one can permit a bit of escapism to another time, here’s a poem quoted by Winston Churchill at a time when hope was a real , valuable, and scarce thing … Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the … More O Ship of State