You Overheard

Seated next to your
good friend Linda at Jake’s Grill
on Thanksgiving (she

had been quoting Mar-
cus Aurelius on the
good life) I thought I

heard you laugh. My good-
ness! Silly me! The conver-
sation turned to Walt

Whitman, to opti-
mism, THE original
American sin—

your laughter again.
I paled like Dante hearing
Beatrice laugh.

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.

One thought on “You Overheard”

  1. finesse-filled personal insight and vignette casting light on the secular religion of Thanksgiving. The final image of Dante and Beatrice catches the grief and the beauty of love lost and its transcencendences.


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