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Christopher Clausen

BA, Earlham College, 1964; MA, University of Chicago, 1965; PhD, Queen’s University (Canada), 1972. Professor of English, The Pennsylvania State University, 1985-. Books: The Place of Poetry (University Press of Kentucky, 1981); The Moral Imagination (University of Iowa Press, 1986); My Life with President Kennedy (University of Iowa Press, 1994); Faded Mosaic: The Emergence of Post-Cultural America (Ivan R. Dee, 2000). Many essays, reviews, poems in American Scholar, TLS, Kenyon Review, VQR, Sewanee Review, New Leader, Queen’s Quarterly, etc. Major interests: Victorian literature and society; contemporary American society; the American university as a present-day version of the late-medieval Church.


Making Sense of America

Spring 2002 | Essays

The appearance of the non-ethnic words "males" and "heterosexual" in the last sentence is no accident. The oppressiveness of the so-called white race over all others is almost as a matter of course equated by multiculturalists with male domination of females and the heterosexual persecution of homosexuals. According to militant multiculturalists, American society is a perpetual civil war, in which the forces of liberation will finally triumph when the non-white population outnumbers whites and other victims of prejudice are accorded equal stature with the majority. A sympathetic Washington Post recently hailed on its front page new census data showing "huge increases" in the number of homosexual households.(Like a number of other census stories, this one turned out to be misleading. Although it had grown significantly since 1990, the proportion of same-sex households in the population covered by the report was still only half of 1 percent.) The importance of the census as a kind of running scorecard is obvious.



Ajack-in-the-pulpit, the forest flower that looks like a hooded cobra ready to strike, once frightened me so badly that it gave me nightmares for years. I was a very young child who had just fallen down the side of a mountain nearly to his death (I [...]

The Decline of Anglo-American Poetry

Sniffing the trees, just another dog among a lot of dogs. What else is there? And to do? The rest have run out— after the rabbits. Only the lame stands—on three legs William Carlos Williams, Paterson It appears likely that poe [...]

Did You Once See Willy Plain?

The time I came nearest to meeting W. B. Yeats was late on a summer day in 1969 after I had been up all night on the train from Copenhagen to the Hook of Holland and then all day on the boat to England. I had gone through customs three times in the [...]