Milton Goldsmith’s Poetry

There are only two more pages from Milton Goldsmith’s family album to share. Each has only one item on it. But there is still much more to share from his other two albums.

Milton included this article about the celebration in Larchmont, New York, of his 90th birthday. It provides a detailed summary of Milton’s life.

The last page includes this poem Milton wrote on the occasion of his 95th birthday. As you can see, Milton was still very sharp at the age of 95; the poem is funny, touching, and erudite:

Although the poem says “more” at the bottom, I do not see the second page of this poem in the album. I love Milton’s humor and his continuing love of life as expressed in this poem.

Milton Goldsmith died a year later on September 21, 1957, at the age of 96. He left behind not only his family and this family album, but a body of work—books for children and for adults, poetry, and plays—and a huge collection of letters, photographs, poems, and other memorabilia.

Sue shared two other albums with me. I have scanned what I can from the other albums and will now share some of what I’ve scanned. One of these albums contained many of Milton’s poems and other writings. Most of these were love poems written at various stages of Milton’s life before he was married. Others commemorate special occasions. I have selected just a few to share.

I particularly like this one, a self-portrait in words. If you compare it to the poem Milton wrote when he was 95, you can see that neither his style nor his joie de vivre had changed much over the seventy or so years that passed between writing this poem and writing the one above.

Another poem from this era, written in 1883 when Milton was twenty-two and his father Abraham was 51, was dedicated to his father. It’s another poem that I found very touching.

The final poem that I selected to share is this one, written in 1898 by Milton  to Sophie, whom he would marry the following year:

The love and longing expressed in this poem is initially disguised by a long description of Christmas, but eventually Milton’s true feelings came out. I do wonder what he was doing in Fort Wayne!

I wish I could scan and share more of Milton’s poetry, but the number of poems is overwhelming. The best I can do is help Sue work on having all of these albums preserved in the Jewish archives in Philadelphia where Milton was born and raised and where so many of his poems were written.

In my next two posts, the final ones for Milton, I will share some of the photographs and other materials that I found in the third album Sue shared with me.

 

25 thoughts on “Milton Goldsmith’s Poetry

  1. All the poems you shared were wonderful but the final ‘My Darling’ was amazing! I could almost feel his heart pounding with love for Sophie in that 2nd section as I read through it. Even his poem for his father – that was beautiful, oh goodness he was an amazing man! I have his book Rabbi and Priest and while I began it, I never finished it. It was wonderful and I must get back to it 🙂 Looking forward to your next posting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not aware of pictures from his party. If any turn up I shall let you know. I do have a picture of him with my mother and me when he was about 90 but that was taken in Larchmont not at his party in the city. Amy, do you have that picture?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could write poetry like he did. All of those poems are special in different ways. I wish I had known my grandmother, Sophie. After reading my grandfather’s description of himself I know where I get my huge feet.

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  3. Milton is one of my favorites among the family you have written about. Not only was he a man for all seasons, but the decades as well. His humor and poetry in the face of aging and the changes it brings is very touching. it says so much at a level deeper than the humor first tells us.

    Liked by 1 person

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