Drawn Back Into the Gyre
By ETHAN BRONNER
IT was not supposed to be this way. Just when Israelis had turned their backs on years of military occupation of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, to international acclaim, they are again fighting in both places with no clear exit strategy.
The sense of shock is not limited to Israel. Lebanon, which last year took on a heroic hue in the West as its %u201CCedar Revolution%u201D pushed Syrian troops out, thought it was on the verge of moving beyond civil war and offering a model of Middle Eastern democracy. Yet, after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the border into Israel to kill and kidnap soldiers, Lebanon finds itself again cut off from the world, its airport runways turned into craters, its port blockaded by Israeli warships.
'District and Circle,' by Seamus Heaney
NYTimes Review by BRAD LEITHAUSER
July 16, 2006
I sometimes think there's no more reliable way of initially entering a poet's private domain than by examining what he or she rhymes with what. Certainly, the abbreviated signature of a good many poets could be read by assembling a sample list of the end-words of their lines. George Herbert, Lord Byron, Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, James Merrill %u2014 in many cases a savvy reader could, with all the quiet exultation of a code-breaking cryptographer, identify the author purely through paired rhyme-words, independent of what the poem was actually about.
Misery Loves a Memoir
By BENJAMIN KUNKEL
July 16, 2006
What Thoreau has to overcome during his time in the woods is not a lapse in mental health. His great problem is to escape the mental health of his neighbors, their collection-plate opinions, their studious repetition of gossip. Thoreau isn't against self-esteem (he admires a friend who has learned to "treat himself with ever increasing respect"); but his main task is to lose his esteem for society in which "trade curses everything it handles" and the singular natural resource of time is wasted in barren productivity.