Confessions and Impressions
By Sonia F Levy
Printed by firstname.lastname@example.org, 2016
Reviewed by Carol Novis
Old age can dry up the creative juices, but that has certainly not been the case for Sonia Levy, who at age 89 has written a book of poetry which would do credit to anyone half her age. She writes in staccato bursts of thought, like a modern day rap song. Amusing, poignant and perceptive, her poems look back at her life, with its joys and hopes and disappointments, and forward stoically to … whatever lies ahead. As she puts it:
Soon to be eighty-nine
not too late to shine
recover, discover, take a look
open the book
see inside the cover…
Sonia was born in South Africa and at age 17, travelled to England on a tour and decided to stay in London. In 1948, she moved to Israel, because, “I felt that there was where I should be. I joined the army, but didn’t do anything very praiseworthy,” she says modestly. “My job was to be nice to the soldiers in the hospital. When the war was over I decided to stay in Israel. I met my husband Fred, who was also a South African, and we went back to South Africa to be married.”
Fred worked as an accountant for the South African Zionist Federation and later went into business supplying hotel and hospital equipment, while Sonia tutored in English and in her spare time, painted. Her hobby today, besides poetry, is enjoying the Internet. The couple had three sons, Jonathan, Michael and Gil and six grandchildren – “all wonderful”. Fred passed away several years ago.
Why did she recently decide to write poetry? “It just came into my head. I suddenly got the ambition to write with age. The poems decided to be written, and I decided to publish them.”
The poems deal with many of the things that weigh on her mind, and that anyone, of any age, can identify with: nature, treasured places like Tel Aviv (shaka-shooka/a bazooka/only home/iron dome…plebs, celebs/melting pot/Zionist plot) and love.
The indignities of later life are also discussed, such as loneliness and outliving friends and partners:
Run-down woman sits
like a dog at the window
her life has frayed.
But there are comforts too, such as coffee:
Your debts have doubled
your mind is troubled
you’ve gotten old/Your limbs are cold
can count no more
than one to three
have a cup of coffee with me.
And there is always humor:
Who am I? My hair is unstyled
messy and wild
I can only be me
not realistic, narcissistic, try to be charming
results are alarming
A recent book launch of “Confessions and Impressions” was highly successful, and, says Sonia, “I felt on top of the world.”
To purchase the book, at NIS 50, call Sonia: 03 549 7249