By Way of Elegy

Two Poems




By Evelyn Hooven (August 2017)



Angel of Death Victorious, Herman Martzen, 1923 (Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Oh)






When you brought me to the world

When you fondled me

When the milk knit my bones

When the hope began to grow

Why didn’t you tell me

Why didn’t you tell

Why didn’t you tell me

How much time I had?


Now I’m left in the middle,

Stopped, in the lurch,

About to take steps

Go where the map says

Ethiopia, Colombo,


Andaluz, San Salvador—

Left in mid-air .  .  .


When you brought me to the world

When the first tooth grew

When the sugar was honey

And the milk was you

Why didn’t you tell me

Tell me, tell—

Why didn’t you tell me

How much time I had? 

As it is I’ve been a wastrel .  .  .





I cradled him in moss one day,

A chill, a moment!  He was gone,

A phantom took my love away,

A ghost has cast him into stone.


Fireflies dance their light away,

Dead bones stir in lands unknown,

A phantom bore my love away,

A ghost has wrought him into stone.





Evelyn Hooven graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her M.A. from Yale University, where she also studied at The Yale School of Drama.  A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, she has had presentations of her verse dramas at several theatrical venues, including The Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Series in Greenwich, CT (after a state-wide competition) and The Poet’s Theatre in Cambridge, MA (result of a national competition). Her poems and translations from the French have appeared in ART TIMES, Chelsea, The Literary Review, THE SHOp: A Magazine of Poetry (in Ireland), The Tribeca Poetry Review, Vallum (in Montreal), and other journals, and her literary criticism in Oxford University’s Essays in Criticism.


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