To Diane

To Diane

by Fred Leavitt.

 

I
My violin shrieks
and rends the air with lament
but look who wields the bow
don’t blame the instrument
I write ill-matched couplet, tinkly rhyme
but others, with words full-known to me
breathed life to Kubla Khan and Leda’s swan
and the fair Lake Isle of Innisfree
II
My spirit was dormant, uninspired
listlessly played by those I knew
aimless drippings on a cluttered canvas
and then came you
Newfound emotions surged within me
for Gods can be made from fools
I knew beauty, passion, tender love
It’s the worker, not the tools.
FRED LEAVITT was born in Brooklyn, New York, to homemaker Goldie and poet and teacher Ezekiel Leavitt. He has virtually no memories of his father, who died when he was four. He started his collegiate studies at 16 at the City College of New York, dropped out, went to Brooklyn College, dropped out, and randomly chose Eastern New Mexico University where he graduated with a B.S. in 1964. He received his Ph.D. degree in psychopharmacology in 1968 from the University of Michigan and did post-graduate doctorate work at the University of California, Berkeley 1968-1969. Leavitt has been on the faculty at California State University, East Bay, California almost all his adult life. He also has taught for one or more semesters at Williams College; Northern Arizona University; the University of British Columbia; the University of Hawaii; the United States International University (in both Kenya and the United Kingdom); the University of Utrecht (Netherlands); Bogazici University (in Turkey); Massey University (in New Zealand); and National University of Singapore (Singapore). Leavitt gives occasional talks to medical doctors for their continuing medical education requirements. In 1964 he married Diane Bright. The Leavitts live in Oakland, California, and have two married daughters and two grandchildren.

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