Turn off the news. An-
other mass killing is not
news. Nor is it not

news. Hatred of Jews
is not news. Killing of Jews
is not news. In shock

we struggle with our
Psalm this morning. We’ve practiced
it but can’t sing it,

given the news. Let
silence stop your hearts, silence
start the healing heart.

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.

3 thoughts on “Silence”

  1. This is profoundly moving. The dialectic of news-not news, song – silence, opens a space of frtuiful paradoxIn the last stanza the plural ‘hearts’ brings us up short with our assumptions about individual experience, perhaps the lyric ‘I’, perhaps the private perspective of confessional language which surely must be the only way to start to express things in such circumstances. THe poem shows us how that raw, authetntic, personal response is real as it assumes shape by being together with someone–perhaps the poet and the poem — speaking to it, and the origin of reality ultimately giving the poem and poet a voice–in that in-betweenness and togetherness which embraces our shape as finite.


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