The Lonely Calling; with a Text by Derek Mahon

The space or between of the poem—-between origin and apocalypse—- assumes the author is always in dialogue, never alone. Writing is a lonely calling we say, ignoring the originary sense of being called. But the space of the poem may address the silence too.

Ivy will be the final flower
Of life, as it has been before.
Bays and oak leaves? Not a chance.
When history bows to circumstance
it will be ivy that survives
The evidence of our vanished lives.

Derek Mahon ‘Ivy’ from Against the Clock.

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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