Your Birthday Ode

Tomorrow is your
birthday. You would have been not
old — sixty-seven —-

but who’s counting now.
The point is you came to be.
Beauty and Justice

became your causes.
Alabama, the Fifties,
Amurika you

never made peace with.
You scorned Metaphysics but
Beauty and Justice

will burn brightly a-
amongst the candles on your
cake and won’t blow out.

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 “Your Birthday Ode”

  1. I was thinking of her this morning, Tom, as I often do. I used to feel challenged by getting the right birthday card for her – to equal her wit, passions, appreciation for irony and beauty. Anything I say feels inadequate but I’ll add that she was one hell of a woman whom I admired and loved. My heart continues to break. I’ve been appreciating your poems so much. Love to you and Ceci.


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