The delicate lines
of the faces of women
of a certain age

in conversation,
their mugs of coffee untouched,
leave so much to the

The lines I’m writing aspire
to such tenderness.

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 “Lines”

  1. The lover becomes more and more like the beloved–something like that–is attributed to Aristole (I think). Here the lines of women’s faces rendered in the lines of poetry lead to a reflection on the poet’s writing his lines. Yet the poet is not mastering the women as observed, not dominating the beloved. The poetic lines aspire to the tenderness of imagination left by the lines in the women’s faces. THe space of poetic imagination is non-linear. It is more than that though, not just indefinite but overdeterminate. The poem is not just words or just thoughts or lines. It is the medium of the flow of love.


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