Enigma 12-31

by Evelyn Hooven (December 2016)

Former companion,

You are not

Who I thought.  .  .


Yet no use, none

In refusal

To admit

A difference still—

Your voice, how

It seems with you—

Those shadows


Hold and follow—how

Are they made, nerves

I mean, what are they?


Are you ever

Sad or void

Absented from

Is it some shape

You once called

Love and struggle,

Or from knowledge

Of that shape

Instead of

A trailing off? .  .  .




Frail, persistent

On an indistinct



Nearly present

Nearly explosive—

What are they?


There are

Have been



Too many

So none

Quite true

And happy

New year

To you, too.




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.


To comment on this poem or to share on social media, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish moving and thought provoking poems such as this, please click here.

If you have enjoyed this poem by Evelyn Hooven and want to read more of her work, please click here.