Was America ever the world

we grew up with? Didn't it stop being that somewhere in the fifties - after Truman?
Hasn't it stopped having the windy day idea, the refugee, the glamour girl, the gangster
the whisky-driven dice down the plains, the new deal, the public love, the
wheat, the music of wheat, Robert Flaherty, James Agee, Dorothea Lange?

Or just before: the American parades clashing down two avenues
when Charles Ives would stand somewhere in the middle so he could
listen to two different kinds of music steep into the same sky because they were both his life.

- by Michael Klein, in his new collection, "then, we were still living."

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.