Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

CC recommends

This 1982 drama directed by Alan Parker is one of the great films of its decade—complex, adult, irresolvable, with a screenplay by Bo Goldman that poeticizes its characters’ anguish. Many of the lines stay in your head.
Music

CC recommends

Paul McCartney’s silly, slight “Wonderful Christmastime” gets a much-needed, taut makeover. There is a dreamy opening instrumental, “The Gift of St. Cecilia.
Film

Wartime truths

It takes a long while to assimilate Brian De Palma’s Iraq war film. It’s not so much that Redacted is raw and assaultive. It’s that the style isn’t like anything you’ve ever seen.
Poetry

Nativity figure speaks

I felt it, riding through the afternoon—
the nights are getting shorter and it’s cold
and then the baby shifted in my womb
and the innkeeper sent us to his sandy field.
I did what I was made to do. And now
who knows what else is possible? God’s breath
moves against the soft nose of the cow.
The moon shines on this shed and on the path
where you lean, watching us. Who are you?
I am the round yon virgin of your song.
You are the sky the light is passing through,
and you are the iron moonlight. You’re sweet fresh-
smelling hay. You’re Bethlehem, the tall kings.
Reach out, release us from this wooden crèche.
Poetry

What we heard on Christmas Day

Silence like early morning, like indigo
Deepening at the bottom of the sea.
For hundreds of years.

No voice to say this is the way.
Or tomorrow, he comes. They raised
Their questions, rose each morning, found

No answers. Unless you count
Wait. But after the hush
Of prophecy, the long line of law,

Exile centuries ago just a bitter aftertaste
In their empty mouths, sting
Of dust on their ribs dulled, almost imperceptible,

A baby wailed. And if you listened close,
You knew your ears did not deceive you.
He had entered the ebony tomb

Of Earth, loosening at last his long-held tongue,
The star a halo of song blaring overhead,
God is not dead, nor does he sleep.