”In order to use language as a musical medium we must also approach it as a physical medium, as sound.” Zwicky, The Experience of Meaning, 150.

Within earshot of

the pub I turn toward the

cove, the raucous sea-

gulls, glittering waves.

I close in on the silence

of fellow creatures.

A chorus of shrieks

in the impersonal glare

of winter sunlight.

Later I’ll stop by

and say hello to the girls

who sing in their prep.

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 “NEAR PROVIDENCE 25.11.21”

  1. THe poem takes the reader through intervals of busyness and quiet, reflection nad communication, and shows her how these seemingly-opposed states are all just some of the waves of being. The reader questions the poet’s characterization of the silence of fellow creatures and this response is met by the poem’s next image of the shrieking gulls, and the poem’s closing image takes the reader with the poet to the company of sound, the satisfying off-rhyme counterpoint of ‘girls’ answering ‘gulls’, the image of busy human productivity and conviviality responding to the silences of reverie.


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