Ann Goldsmith


Dear Irving,

Surely eighty is an impossibility.  Life gets more surreal as it goes along, don't you think?  I don't remember how long ago it was that I first heard you read, bought my first Irving Feldman books, went to hear you one time in Hamburg, compared notes on hip replacements....  But this past weekend I've had a marvellous time rereading your poems.  One after another; book after book; what a feast.  I hope the actual day overflows with pleasures.  The attached arrived after two days of Feldman-immersion--which is not to hold you accountable for its shortcomings!

All best and many splendid returns,



For Irving Feldman, at 80

This morning my glasses fell apart

as I reached for them from the bed.

A tiny silver screw flew out with the right lens.

Of course it was Sunday.

All day I have been wearing the old

heavy pair with the thick lenses.

The computer screen blurs,

the near world has been shrink-wrapped.

My cereal spoon is for dolls.

The can of cat food shrivels

to a kitten toy.  I play Desperation

with bite-size playing cards

whose numbers swim

in spun kaleidoscopes,

brilliant and vague and distant.

And the wind, he wrote, came on as before.

Oh, yes, I must remember this.

And the gold and green

in their fangs and leaves,

bright or bloody, blowing or still,

planet- or paper-clip-size,

with the perfect speed of the daffodil

its one foot in the ground,

clamped and aspiring.

And tomorrow, through dazzlingly

mended glasses, I will surely

see beyond myself,

or maybe by the time I’m eighty.

asg  9/08.19