One Ordinary Evening

Adair, Virginia Hamilton

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Aug-21-1996
  • Last revised: Sep-05-2006


The poet describes a loving scene "entwined with you / on the long sofa . . . . " She playfully clips hairs from her husband’s nose as they listen to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Later the same year, he kills himself, "you were dead / by your own hand . . . / I have never understood."


This poem is from the remarkable first collection published by Adair at the age of 83. While she had written and published individual poems through most of her life, she had never chosen to collect them and attempt publication, until urged to do so by the poet Robert Mezey, who wrote the "Afterword" to Ants on the Melon. The book includes a series of poems (like this one) on her husband’s suicide in 1968. (see Exit Amor in this database).

Primary Source

Ants on the Melon


Random House

Place Published

New York