Music above all.
What words can we call on to
express such music?

Under the tree in
his backyard in Berkeley Ray
Oliver checked my

verses, sunlight dap-
pling the foolscap. Each word should
ring overtones in

ensemble. Idi-
om the last judge, his ear true
to what really counts.

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 tom.develyn@comcast.net. 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 http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

2 thoughts on “Ray”

  1. The poem moves through a lucent reverie of poetry between people to the idiomatic expression of the inexpressible-what really counts. Meter’s counting is beyond counting; the music is the between. The poem lifts the reader beyond univocal logic–counting–to the energy between while she is grounded in illuminated finitude.


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