Over the course of his 93 years, Dr. Morris Roseman has observed situations and gone through experiences that sparked him to sum up what he’s seen or felt via poetry.
However, it was only three years ago that Roseman, a retired clinical psychologist, decided that compiling his vast array of poems would make for one intriguing book.
“As a psychologist, it reinforced my understanding that human beings have lots of stories to tell if they are given the opportunity and courage to share those experiences,” Roseman, a North Oaks retirement community resident, said. “My concept is, everybody has a story worth telling, but most people’s stories don’t get told.”
Thanks to his book, “Situational Poems,” self-published in December, Roseman will forever have an avenue to express his various, and sometimes quite unique, tales.
The 60-poem compilation starts with the first poem he ever wrote (1938) — an ode to his future wife, Myra Goldenberg Roseman, to whom the book is dedicated — and chronologically features events in Roseman’s life that spurred him to put pen to paper.
Several of the poems reference his family and close friends, and others recount topics from doctor’s visits to vacations. Each poem is coupled with a background explanation of what prompted him to jot down his thoughts in poetical prose.
Having saved all of his poems, Roseman found the biggest undertaking was typing all the verses into his computer and, with the help of his three children, deciding on a graphic designer to aid in the layout of the book.
“It turned out to be a lot of hard work, which I had never anticipated,” Roseman said. “When I began this I thought, ‘OK, I have a computer, I have a keyboard, I’m a very slow typist, but who cares. What’s the rush?’”
While not all seniors go to the length of having their work published, North Oaks Executive Director Mark Pressman said that a good portion of them find some outlet, whether it’s writing or artwork, to
express who they are later in life.
“Here at North Oaks, and at other retirement communities, when folks take advantage of their retirement years they can start a new career or start a new hobby or finish things they’ve never really had a chance to attend to,” Pressman said. “Clearly, Dr. Roseman has had a chance to do that with these poems, and they kind of express his unique wit. If you know Dr. Roseman, then you can just see these poems as so him.”
Pressman knows Roseman well. In addition to Roseman being a North Oaks resident since 2004, the two shared many conversations when Roseman served as the community’s residents association president. Pressman was well aware that a book project was in the works.
“I’m thrilled for him because I know this is something he’s been working on for quite some time,” Pressman said. “Having the opportunity to really devote time to pull it all together and make it happen … has been a dream of his. It’s really a beautiful piece of work.”
For a man who certainly has a way with words, Roseman was ever so succinct when asked what he loved so much about writing poetry.
“I enjoy the experience of having an idea come to me and somehow eliciting some words,” he said. “That’s it.”