David Rivard

Call & Response
April 24, 2016 Rivard David

Call & Response


In this last

book by Zbigniew

Herbert, Elegy


for the Departure,

in a poem

titled “Chord”


a previous reader

has underlined the passage

that ends


the poem—

“truly truly I tell you

great is the abyss


between us

and the light”—

and written



it 4 words—

“our my




consoling note


of empathy? or cry

for help

against the cyclonic



of an unhappy



on one side

of the page 14

words by


the poet dead now

10 years;

on the other, 4 words


printed neatly

by a living man or woman,

troubled, nameless.

David Rivard is the author of seven books of poetry, the newest of which, Some of You Will Know, is out from Arrowsmith Press in October 2022.  His earlier books have won the PEN/New England Prize in poetry, the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and he has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Among his other honors are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. He lives on the coast of Maine.