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Harvey R. Heller

Life Lessons Learned Along the Way: I’m a Rhymer!


By Harvey R. Heller

I have used this space to tell stories about who I am and to introduce you to our group. We hope you enjoy these last two installments of 2017.

I write light poetry, and I mean light.

As a child (some of us never grow up), I treasured “My First Book Of Limericks.” I then, of course, discovered Dr. Seuss. Oh, the places he took me!

As a parent-child, I started sending our then children poems when they were at camp, on birthdays, etc. When close friends celebrated an important moment such as a significant birthday, I wrote poems for them (no, in addition to a real gift!). When the Boss (the great Mark Hauser) was honored by a local Jewish organization, I wrote one in English on one page and had it translated to Hebrew on the facing page.

Now with two grandchildren, I’ve been able to punish another generation with my simple, but loving, verse. When they left our home this past summer after 10 glorious days, I actually wrote a poem for this column that, when finished, was a light summer piece about vacations and snapping back to reality when they end. I never published it because as far afield as I get, I was concerned that it was not right for this space.

Recently, in a flight of ego, I collected every poem I wrote and put them in a binder (and, thanks to my assistant Pam and my daughter Melissa, also a PDF).

What have I learned from my poetry that is worth sharing? Writing poetry has helped me tell a story. A poem, like a story, of course, has a beginning, middle and an end (except for the highbrow stuff that I never completely understood).

A litigator must have a story to relate to his adversaries, the court and certainly the jury. Writing poetry has been my school for all of that. I actually read from “Horton Hears a Who” during a closing argument where the terms of a contract were at issue (“I meant what I said and I said what I meant…..”). A juror in the front row mouthed the verse along with me, and my client prevailed (thankfully, as my partner Ron Sollish advised me not to use the poem!). So, inspiration to explain the seemingly complex can come from the simplest corner of our minds.

We wish you all a holiday season filled with family time and, of course, rhyme!

And if you have not read the unpublished poem or forgot to click the link in my email, just click here! (I’m selling it door to door as well!) 

In our final second piece of the year my partner Rick Mitchell provides a current update on a legislative proposal to limit insurance agent and broker liability. Click here to read it.

We resume publishing in January.