The Wisdom of Lyric: Deryn Rees-Jones

The metaxy or between originated in Plato’s myth Socrates tells about when he consulted about love in The Symposium. Love was the offspring of Plenty and Want. Love dwells in the between (metaxy), always subject to change, always longing for permanence.

Lyric embodies the truth of the metaxy. Though lyric depends on moments of contemplative fullness, erotic arrest, poetically realized in images that have a kind of halo, the flow of verse plunges ahead into the abyss of the between. The dialectic yields to a meta-vision of the ‘porosity’ (Desmond pulls this term from Plato’s myth of fullness and lack). This Rees-Jones calls her middle years.

This pattern, in which the ‘form’ of lyric (let’s call it metaxy or between) emerges from the dialectical narrative of the lyric’s ‘passage,’ is very common. Sort of the DNA of lyric. Deryn Rees-Jones, Erato (Seren).

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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