Wonder in the Seasons
Poems of Reflection and Appreciation
The poems in To Every Truth Its Season, by a distinguished biochemist who is still working and teaching in his eighties, cover a lot of territory, including personal reminiscences, appreciation of the human mind, exploration of the world of nature, concern for the human condition, the very existence of God, and the nature of the cosmos.
Some of the poems in To Every Truth Its Season are written for special occasions, such as an elegy for a departed friend, or as souvenirs of special occasions, like a remembered day spent with friends at Lake Como. Some address the problems caused by mans behavior, such as the bombing of Hiroshima and the savagery of the Southeast Asian war. Others focus in on the poets own garden or his own family.
Throughout the collection, the poet articulately reveals his heartfelt admiration and respect for other poets, and for the many artists and musicians and scientists who have made his world rich. Another recurring theme is the poets love affair with words. There are a few poems that focus overtly on words, including a delightful mediation on the word yes. But in fact wordplay decorates the entire book, and the author is an unabashed fan of sophisticated puns (we weiled away the time and phlox on both our houses).
The writing in To Every Truth Its Season is sophisticated, intelligent, and often funny. The style is mostly free verse, but in a tribute to Petrarch the poet demonstrates that he knows the craft of formal style as well. The poems are accompanied by illustrations, line drawings that nicely complement the words.
Sam Seifter is Distinguished University Professor of Biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York. Over a period of sixty years, he has published widely in the fields of immunology and biochemistry and has taught at many universities and research institutions.
Dr. Seifter has been active in many social programs, including the civil rights movement and organizations opposing the building and use of nuclear weapons. A devoted gardener, he has cultivated perhaps a thousand species and varieties of plants and has held several exhibitions of dried flowers, including one at the New York Botanical Garden. He lives in New Rochelle, New York, with his wife of nearly sixty years.