Thursday, 28 June 2012

Art Heifetz

A Small Love Song

My sadness was a heavy stone
That only you could lift,
My life a ragged shirt
Turned inside out
You patched the holes
And helped me
Get the sleeves on right
My heart an empty husk
Discarded on the road
You picked it up
And filled it with your kindness
My song a lifeless dirge
You placed my head
Against your breast
And hummed a comparsita,
Rocking me to
The rhythm of your heartbeat
The cadence of your breath


TSTmpj:  While not being a "New England poem" as such, it somehow has that feel for me.  Are you influenced by Frost and other New England poets?

Art Heifetz:  It really has nothing to do with Frost. I enjoy Latin American poetry and music and I tried to capture the feel of it in the poem, which was written in honor of my second wife, Mayela, who is from Nicaragua.  She came along during a rough part of my life. A comparsita is a Latin dance.


TSTmpj:  Given the melody of your poem, what sorts of music do you listen to?  How do you usually compose your poetry?

Art Heifetz:  I listen to jazz and Latin music. I write a lot of poetry while swimming or taking showers or walking in the park. Then I edit by reciting them to myself and making changes. I’m retired so I have sufficient free time to do this.


TSTmpj:  Your poem's ending reads almost as being sanguine to me.  Do you feel that's a fair comment?  What advice might you offer to inexperienced poets?

Art Heifetz:  Rather than "sanguine" I would say it’s the feeling you get when you begin again after a difficult period in your life. My advice is  to write simply and clearly, with honest emotion. I find much contemporary writing too abstruse and limited to a small, academic audience.


Bio Note

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

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