Immortal Kisses: Confessions of a Poet
Pauli Rose Libsohn, editor
Page Publishing, 2014
Mitzi Libsohn’s life work, a collection of over two hundred pages, was made possible by her daughter, Pauli Rose Libsohn. Immortal Kisses stands as a remembrance and testament. The poems here are brief lyrics, romantic and sentimental, written earnestly and perhaps best for the casual reader of poetry. Professional poets and readers of literary or contemporary poetry will no doubt find this anthology amateurish. But to dismiss Libsohn’s poetry would be a mark of boorishness.
Libsohn’s romanticism flows through her momentary meditations on the natural world around her. Moon imagery dominates; it is at various times “white-faced,” “meditative,” “ablaze and red as a rose,” and “a golden apple” among a score of other embellishments. Add to this impressions of birds (“A bewitching audience of little blue herons”), flowers (“coiled at spring’s door”), trees, and the constant personification of night as a backdrop to Libsohn’s lunar obsession.
It is perhaps most useful to see her work as participating in the pastoral tradition. She carves out a natural niche in her modern setting allowing her mind to revel as in ‘Morning Glories,’
Hypnotic in purple,
Wild blossoms shed winter coats,
And do not seem to be blossoms at all,
For they hang deceptively now,
Like bells billowing from braided vines.
The flourishes of the natural world are conveyed in plain language and rarely involve a complicated or obscure metaphor. In fact, Libsohn’s tone is so casual it feels as though you are standing next to her as she whispers her lines. Hardly any of the poems are more than a page and the best ones are impressionist, haiku-like.
…I Am Me
A cock crows
The sun comes up
My dreams have gone
And I am me
Libsohn’s daughter’s commitment to editing, arranging, and presenting her mother’s work to the world is commendable. These poems are taken from Libsohn’s personal journals and written over three decades. This kind of poetic journaling assembled by Pauli Rose Libsohn creates an impressionist portrait that is at once uniquely personal and objectively engaging. It’s a demonstration of love that we are privileged to get to be a part.
Like an unexpected song
You will always come back to me
Like a gentle wind
And will remain in my memory
As my life’s golden moment.
Mitzi Libsohn’s poetry doesn’t chronicle her life, it parallels it giving readers a kind of idealist lacquer. For readers who enjoy inspirational, light verse, Libsohn’s anthology is well suited.
In 2008, Mitzi Libsohn passed on, leaving as her legacy a collection of poetry which she had written over a thirty-five year period.
This book review was commissioned. Find out how you can get your novel, novella, collection of short stories, or poetry reviewed by reading my Review Policy.
If you liked this article, then consider supporting me via my Patreon site. Even a small pledge helps.