The Question

Steady rain loosens

ice from the road. Cars pass.

I head into blur,

which I prefer to

the new tyrant’s clarity.

My youth given to

books, how is it I

have nothing to say beyond

the names of the flow.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

4 thoughts on “The Question”

  1. Beautifully apt melancholy. I think the only real answer to the new tyrant’s clarity is names of the flow, and probably without giving himself to what is other–meditative reflection or just books– books or otherwise, the poet might well not have come to that na,ing.


  2. Lovely melancholy reflection. I think the giving of the self to books–to the imagination, to learning, to community–enables the poet to give the only answer possible to the new tyrant’s clarity. In our different ways we should all keep naming the flow.


    1. Thanks Steve! These recent lyrics have been something of a surprise. Written often in noisy rooms, they have asserted themselves; openings of/to the intimate universal I’m studying in Desmond.


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