How to Set a Ruby · Dennis Daly

Beauty needs a ring or pendant or box-
Like bezel to highlight its points of fire.
Set it not too deep. There’s much to admire
Above the rim. Allow the paradox

Of seen and unseen opportunity
To shine. Lay out a brilliancy in foils
Of choice. The reward of artistic toils
Is the deepening glow, the density

That compresses in this stone specimen
All desire that mortality can spend
In its abominable hastiness.

When positioned in its cushioned haven
The airtight gem will shift in tint, append
New effects, engage the bold and breathless.


Dennis Daly has published six books of poetry and poetic translations. He has recently published reviews in Ibbetson Street, The Notre Dame Review, the Fox Chase Review and the Somerville Times. Daly’s translation of Sophocles’ Ajax was recently performed at Skidmore College. Visit Daly’s blog, Weights and Measures.

Nixes Mate Publications · PO Box 1179 · Allston, MA 02134