The Hospitality of Language

The flagstone steps up
the hill to my father’s last
house provided views

of the Pacific
if you turned around. I would
turn around to see

the pale horizon.
Then I’d continue on up
the hill to the house.

Now landlocked, older
than my father lived to be,
I write verse — say, “son,”

“horizon” and “sun” —
imbricating sound and sense
to fix my last house

in air, open to
me thanks to the hospital-
ity of language.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s