For Eamonn

I was singing one
of my songs and my good friend
broke the silence: “Bach!
Bach!” he cried, stopping
the show. Perfection is like
that. I looked at him,
the perfectionist,
and my otherness and in-
tegrity — my self —
took a hike. I knew
then as now I am sustained,
if at all, as gift.

Desmond, G&B, 274; Eamonn T. O’Neill

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.

2 thoughts on “For Eamonn”

  1. Big important questions–recognition, friendship, identity–illumined by the poem’s unfolding. The form resists those categories as simply abstract. This seems particularly important.


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