”ROBERT HASS: Often enough when a thing is seen clearly, there is a sense of absence about it…as if, the more palpable it is, the more some immense subterranean displacement seems to be working in it ; as if at the point of truest observation the visible and the invisible exerted enormous counter-pressure.” quote from Jan Swicky, ”What Is Lyric Philosophy,” ALKIBIADES’ LOVE, 13.

In the dense language

of The Book of Disquiet

Pessoa compares

his self to empty

bottles on a shelf. Summer

wanes, the tedium

is thick with longing

to be himself. Nostalgia

for nothing, he says.

A late fly distracts

me from the literature.

Its buzz is profound.

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.

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