by Evelyn Hooven (September 2020)

Meditation, Gabriel Münter, 1917



(A Monologue from my play “Variations for Uncertain Instrument,” a Work-in-Progress)


It was not so bad

After the deep knowledge settled

After that interminable while

It was not so painful . . .


Alone turning pages

Alone with music

Sometimes avid

Start of the morning

Amazingly bright—


The light was extraordinary

That funeral day.


(As in a reverie)

Not to be stone

Not to be bronze to the core

Is dangerous, dangerous—

The people are dazed by this radiance

Something contorts their faces

Anaesthesia, imminent breakage—

It is clear

They will never endure

Ship them ever so crated

Or filled with excelsior

Mark them exceptionally fragile

They must turn out

Frangible, asunder—



This is the madness of sun

This must be their strange festival—


Without pedestals


Of losses—

Their creator puts out

No hand

To repair them

Perhaps he is sleeping

Or elsewhere, making

What thrives intact

What holds out forever.




They did not lower him

Tenderly enough—


In the night

I dreamed of rain

Pelting, assaulting

Earth eroded

Such penetration

Of sound

Diminution of roots—

I dreamed

I was to meet him—

Rain—I carried

A covering—

He did not come—

Was his protection


For all he would go through?


They did not lower him

Tenderly enough—

I never am sure

If he rests well . . .


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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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