Belief in an Age of Intolerance

November issue cover

About the CoverPhoto by Zakaria Wakrim from the Amarg’ series, southeastern Morocco, 2012. “Amarg’ is the Amazigh (Berber) word for nostalgia,” Wakrim writes. “The aim of the photographs is to impart a deep and fundamental understanding of the desert’s ability to spur the type of introspection and enlightenment that writers like Saint-Exupéry wrote about with such passion” (

Guest-edited and introduced by Yahia Lababidi


Stephen Mitchell
Mona Nicole Sfeir
Admiel Kosman
Ted Kooser
Yoo An-Jin
Kim Seung Hee
Jawid Mojaddedi
Nicholas Samaras
Kevin Hart
Robert Bly
J. V. Foix
Lee van Laer
H. L. Hix

  • Socrates statue
       By Alex Stein
    Alex Stein
    Photo: Pixabay Using Socrates’ trial as his point of departure, the author spins out a meditation on wisdom, the divine, justice, grace, and desire like “an arrow in the chest.” “We cann...
  • Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance statue and Rosemont Pedestrian Bridge, Houston, Texas / Photo by Patrick Feller
       By Hamza Yusuf
    Hamza Yusuf
    Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance statue and Rosemont Pedestrian Bridge, Houston, Texas / Photo by Patrick Feller If a profligate comes to you with news, make sure you understand it...
  • The rising sun peeking out from between the branches of a tree in a thick glade.
       By H. L. Hix
    H. L. Hix
    An old Japanese maple in the Japanese garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis / Photo by Kent Burgess In this brief essay, poet and translator H. L....
  • A photograph featuring many people that is blurred to create the effect of an Impressionist painting
       By Lee van Laer
    Lee van Laer
    From Yousef Khanfar’s project Humanity at Large, in cooperation with the United Nations. Khanfar writes, “These photos are impressionistic images that show human beings as islands within the...
  • An oil painting of the silhouette of a girl rolling a hoop up a street between two buildings. An ominous shadow of a man, perhaps carrying a spear enters the scene from above.
       By J. V. Foix
    J. V. Foix
    Giorgio de Chirico (1888–1978), Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, 1914, oil on canvas, 69 x 85 cm, private collection My village sits on a circular platform. The gate of every house faces...
  • A pair of bared feet rest on a cloth covered in a non-English script.
       By Robert Bly
    Robert Bly
      There’ll be no more mother. We’ll have to live nowWith the looks on the faces of our friends,And half-open windows, and lamps that go onBy themselves, and an egg standing on a plate. Last night I dr...
  • Bared feet standing on a cloth covered in a non-English script.
       By Kevin Hart
    Kevin Hart
    Sam Roxas-Chua 姚, Pilgrim, 27 x 51 in., sumi-e and squid ink. Still of our world, dear father, in your graveOr at my winter window, looking hardInto a life you never kne...
  • Two flowers in a vase sitting between two walls embedded with lights meant represent deportees sent from France to Nazi concentration camps.
    Nicholas Samaras
    The 200,000 lights in the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation in Paris represent the number of deportees sent from France to Nazi concentration camps. Photo by Zak / Flickr   Martyrs of the Deport...
  • The pink moon rises over a wetland and forest at dusk.
       By Rumi
    Photo by C.P. Ewing / Flickr   "The sky has never seen such a moon”   The sky has never seen such a moon, not even in its dreams,No water could ever extinguish the fire of its light, Look at my body,...
  • A pink moon rises from behind trees that edge a wetland at dusk.
       By Jawid Mojaddedi
    Jawid Mojaddedi
    Photo by C. P. Ewing  / Flickr Rumi remains the most popular poet in America today. To many who claim to be “spiritual but not religious,” his poems represent direct spiritual connection with a h...
  • A statuary in the extreme foreground with the sea in the deep background.
    Yoo An-Jin, Kim Seung Hee
    Valery's "cemetery by the sea," Sète, France / Photo by Mathieu / Flickr An Encouragement by Yoo An-Jin “The wind is rising!We must try to live!”So said Paul Valéry.How shall I adopt that Frenchman’s...
  •    By Ted Kooser
    Ted Kooser
    For more, read Daniel Simon’s interview with Ted Kooser, “Starving for Order.” The Constellation I was on my way home from a party,ten-thirty, a dark winter night, no stars,a few snowflakes drifting...
  • A moody oil painting of a funeral taking place on a grassland with multiple figures in black that almost blend into the landscape around them.
       By Daniel Simon
    Daniel Simon
    Harvey Dunn, I Am the Resurrection and the Life, 1926 / Courtesy South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota For more, read two new poems by Ted Kooser. While in Lincoln to attend the r...
  • Two strands of barbed wire stand in the foreground against a backdrop of yellowish clouds in a wine-dark sky
       By Admiel Kosman
    Admiel Kosman
    Photo: Ath-Har Saeed / Flickr       I play on the water. It’s not completely necessary or required, but things flow under the treeslike a gentle melody. Day unto dayuttereth more lo...
  • A mixed media image by Mona Nicole Sfeir, the author of these poems.
    Mona Nicole Sfeir
    Mona Nicole Sfeir, The Maps of Our Making (detail), 2015, acrylic, chalk, collage on canvas. Political maps are human constructs that have continuously changed since the first maps were scratched ont...
  • The Sacrifice of Isaac, 1985
    Stephen Mitchell
    Menashe Kadishman (1932–2015), The Sacrifice of Isaac, 1985, cor-ten steel, 15' 1" x 15' 5" x 9'. Kadishman’s sculpture “was partly inspired by an experience the artist had while se...
  • Agostino Arrivabene (b. 1967, Italy), Androgynous, 2016, oil, gold leaf on linen, 50x40cm. Courtesy of the artist.
       By Yahia Lababidi
    Yahia Lababidi
    Agostino Arrivabene (b. 1967, Italy), Androgynous, 2016, oil, gold leaf on linen, 50x40cm. Courtesy of the artist. Religion is at its best when it becomes a countercultural forc...

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