Prospect Park, Providence

In one of my job-
less interludes, Providence
rebuilt itself. It

showed its river off,
raised highrises between us
and the green beyond.

Emptiness has mixed
uses. I watch with others
from Prospect Park. From

now on the use that
has no use is my study
as the dust rises.

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 “Prospect Park, Providence”

  1. Wonderful reflection on uselessness! To me as a disability activist this is poignant in that disabled poeple often feel or are made to feel useless. Yet here as often the perceptions from the margins speak to the heart of reality. Everything is useless in that its significance is not instrumental. Its real value is not determined by what it does but by its simply being at all. This valuing of existence enables us t find joy and take solace in the gap between beings and that great love which gives the possibility and actuality of being itself. PRospect Park floating above downcity PRovidence and the glittering mall evokes all this for me as I reread the poem. Thank you.


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