In her sixties and seventies, Phyllis Beck Katz turned from scholarship to the writing of poetry. On her desk, she keeps a quote by Stanley Kunitz which best expresses why:
The poem comes in the form of a blessing —‘like rapture on the mind,’ as I tried
to phrase it in my youth. Through the years I have found this gift of poetry
to be life-sustaining, life-enhancing, and absolutely unpredictable. Does one live,
therefore, for the sake of poetry? No, the reverse is true: poetry is for the sake of life.
Of her own work, Katz says: "Poetry has metamorphosed from object to subject for me, in that it sustains my emotional and my intellectual life: in the creation of a poem I find challenge and solace. I love the process of losing myself in the writing of a new poem, of finding the right words and images, of shaping its beginning and ending. I’ve learned to revise and revise! Throughout, I have continued working with and reading other poets on a daily basis. This daily conversation has helped me immensely in the development and maturation of my own poems."
Please browse this section to read a selection of Katz's poems.