Now in the Stillness

by Evelyn Hooven (May 2020)

Self-portrait with Wife, Conrad Felixmüller, 1920s




We made a maiden voyage

Out of xenophobia

Not glorious but we tried

With Lincoln and Wilson and Eleanor

To tell us from the grave

That the care of, cure of others

Is our business.

Was it too far to go?

When we countered lucrative presto-power

And tried to stand with the ones

Who could no longer step aside

Was it too far to go?


Backlash, about-face, regress,

Business as usual.

Back to our dress-for-success cynicism

Or market’s the place for love

Won’t two self-promoters make the best merger?

And look around you at the shabby boardroom

Dapper, no-risk prudence,

Sheer mediocrity, pardoned disgrace.


We’re hurt but we’re not defenseless

We’re hurt but we’re nobody’s fool . . .

Now in the stillness

Now in the lull

Let the old dream

Renew itself.




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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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