Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
- The Times Literary Supplement


April 2008


by Bill Coyle

A poem by Bill Coyle.

But is it really necessary I
all of his works? Couldn’t I just
renounce the vast majority of them?

We were out walking, you were explaining why
you couldn’t quite convert. I was nonplussed.
Theologically, I could condemn
what seemed to me a clear misunderstanding
of the relationship of good and evil,
but in aesthetic terms I understood:
Given that you imagined God commanding
all that was light and airy and the devil
all that was dark and dangerous, pure good
had to be lethal, both in life and art.
I think I still believe that, in my heart.

Bill Coyle's first book of poems, The God of This World to His Prophet, won the New Criterion Poetry Prize.

more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 April 2008, on page 36

Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion |

E-mail to friend

add a comment

Leave this field empty

The New Criterion

By the author

“Our duty to praise”

by Bill Coyle

On the poet P. J. Kavanagh.

You might also enjoy

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required


The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll,

Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.