A new biography of Thomas Paine seeks to restore religion to its rightful place in the Age of Revolution and the life of a...
Oiseau et Poires, Villa de Poppée
What were they thinking, painters of frescos,
owners of villas floundering
toward decoration? The masterpieces
scraped from volcanic muck rarely possess
a trompe l’oeil that would send a man
to pluck an iris or flail away at a wasp.
Take the greenfinch, as it probably was,
stealing toward a scatter of ripe pears,
preserving more life than the plaster
casts of Pompeiians, horrors cursing
the gods or just gasping for breath.
Pompeian red, as it came to be called,
washed the decaying backdrop
for the finch’s forever interrupted
foray into the kitchen store, beak
almost touching the forbidden fruit.
William Logan is the author of Dickinson’s Nerves, Frost’s Woods: Poetry in the Shadow of the Past.
Founded in 1957 by the great Russell Kirk, Modern Age is the forum for stimulating debate and discussion of the most important ideas of concern to conservatives of all stripes. It plays a vital role in these contentious, confusing times by applying timeless principles to the specific conditions and crises of our age—to what Kirk, in the inaugural issue, called “the great moral and social and political and economic and literary questions of the hour.”
Get the Collegiate Experience You Hunger For
Your time at college is too important to get a shallow education in which viewpoints are shut out and rigorous discussion is shut down.
Explore intellectual conservatism
Join a vibrant community of students and scholars
Defend your principles
Join the ISI community. Membership is free.