Self-published at 89 (yes, you’re reading that right), poet Esther Lazarson gave a reading this past weekend at the Bloomingdale branch of the New York Public Library. Now a sparkling 91, Esther read from her book Everyday Poems for Everyday People and included her latest works as well.
After she read the first poem, we applauded and she held up a hand. “Please don’t applaud, it wastes time!” We laughed but she was right—she had a wealth of material to read and it ranged from the funny to the poignant to the startling.
A friend was with her to read when her voice grew hoarse but time and again Esther took the sheaf of pages back to read, usually with a comment that made me laugh. “Oh, that’s one of my favorites.” Or “I like that one!” Her glee could turn serious in a blink as she read a poem that made us remain silent at the message.
One poem I enjoyed, titled “Birthday A and Birthday B,” was, sadly, not in her current book. Afterward, I approached and told her she needed to write a second book. She waved a hand and said, “I don’t know, it’s such a lot of work!” I repeated that conversation to one of the librarians there and she winked and said, “She’ll write another.”
You can find Esther’s book at Amazon at http://amzn.to/1OZHssg and if you enjoy it, please do leave a review. I just bought my copy and will be doing that soon.