James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, and on to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty in the western tradition. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative. He has published five books, including most recently, a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014).
American letters suffered several losses in 2017, and Modern Age has felt them keenly. In the spring, our new editor, the great political philosopher, Peter Augustine Lawler, passed away unexpectedly.
We may understand intuitively the importance of the liberal arts, but what is their function, really?
This article appears in the Fall 2011 edition of the Intercollegiate Review. See the issue’s Table of Contents here.
There's little room left in this house for poetry,
Or in this world for any lasting language.
The managers and sales reps in the office
Who've ticketed their holidays are childless,
And looking toward five days of sun and liquor.