Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Art Heifetz

Love in the Latter Part of Life

Love in the latter part of life,
Is more than a sudden squall
On calm September seas
That rises and abates.
It is an unexpected gift
Like the smile of a young girl
To a stranger.

Or a childhood portrait
In black and white
Abruptly bursting into color.

Or a crystal
Dug from the dark, stony soil
Of a mountain slope,
Brushed off
And held up to the sun,
The intrinsic beauty
Of its pure geometry
Perfectly revealed.

So the facets of our
Late-blooming love
Catch oh so briefly
The brilliant light
Of the waning afternoon


TSTmpj:  It seems increasingly apparent to me that as poets grow older, the themes of old age and mortality, the past and nostalgia, inevitably more and more permeate their writing.  What do you wish to share about your feelings on your own "poetic mortality"?

Art Heifetz:  It’s true we aging guys reminisce a lot, but it also seems the memories become a lot sharper. My dad recalled a lot of things in the nursing home that I had forgotten but couldn’t recall what he had for breakfast. The fact that I’m at this stage of my life makes me try a lot harder to leave a mark.


TSTmpj:  And yet, given my first question, it seems that for you, love -- rightly as I see it -- usurps mortality.  Any thoughts?

Art Heifetz:  I feel that the memory of love does. I have a poem with that title, which unfortunately is more than 30 lines. If my first wife has any shot at "eternal life," it’s through memory and maybe the poems I’ve gotten published about her. I wrote this poem about my second one when I realized I would celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary at the ripe old age of 114.


TSTmpj:  Can love ever be "perfectly revealed" in this life?

Art Heifetz:  It’s like the crystal. When you find it in your sixties, it needs a little dusting off. But when it’s held up to the light, it shines every bit as brightly as it did at 20. When the kids see you dancing in the park, they know something has been "revealed" beside the fact that grandpa has gone gaga.

Bio Note

Art Heifetz recently retired from a career running an insurance agency, and returned to his first love, poetry.

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