Poetry Friday: A Tribute

Usually, I am unaffected by a celebrity’s death. I think it’s because I do not have a personal relationship with them. I feel sad but have little sense of loss for myself, more loss for the world in which they belonged, especially when the person who died made valuable contributions. But, in the passage of time, as I get older, more and more iconic celebrities pass away. Betty White lived a long life. She was 99 years old upon her death last week, just shy of her 100th birthday that was to come later this month. For some reason, she reminds me of my maternal grandmother who had a sense of humor (not like Betty’s, of course) but was a very kind lady, too. She also had a January birthday. She died years ago, in her early nineties, but I spend a lot of thinking about her. I believe I owe at least some of my creative spirit to her, as she was an accomplished seamstress.

On this Poetry Friday, I wrote a tribute poem to Betty and asked permission from my son, who is an artist, to post the painting he made of her last week, also as a tribute.

Painted Tribute to Betty White by Ben Labuzzetta, 2022. © Ben Labuzzetta. Ben can be followed on Instagram by searching his name and his website is located at: http://benlabuzzetta.com.

A Tribute to Betty White

Your eyes shown until the last,

Making us remember how laughter came fast.

A long career in the public eye,

Kept you busy, young, and spry.

Beloved characters, from T.V., not plays

We all have a favorite from those days.

A Golden Girl you will always be, 

Now joining your sisters in heaven with glee.

Your legacy is already upon us, 

As pets are adopted with new love, thus

You will be remembered as a model for all

Your kindness and humor becomes our call.

© Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2022

Today is Poetry Friday with Carol V. as our host at her Beyond LiteracyLink blog.  Carol is an author, poet, and teacher with whom I feel a special kinship, probably, in part due to sharing the same first name. She has been an integral and supportive part of my writing journey. Thanks for hosting Carol and for all you do for literacy!

16 thoughts

  1. Carol, I am humbled by your ending thought on our friendship and writing bond. I, too, loved Betty White throughout her career. She always made me laugh bringing the benefits of laughter to heal a soul. I wrote a blog on laughter back in 2015. Betty White was my focus. If interested you can check out https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2015/06/laughter.html. I just followed your son on Instagram. What an amazing artist he is! You should continue your partnership with him for our PF audience. Does he paint landscapes? I am gathering winter scenes for my Winter’s Embrace Gallery. Maybe you two would consider creating an ekphrastic poem together for the gallery. I would love to showcase Ben’s work.


  2. Carol, I just added Ben’s portrait of Betty White to a tweet and mentioned his portrait accompanies your post for Poetry Friday. I am so impressed by your son’s artwork and his journey to open his own gallery one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, your son’s portrait is amazing. I love that you wrote a poem tribute as well. Betty White was quite the icon for a long life full of humor. We should all be so blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your son’s painting! He is so talented! I was sad to hear about Betty White too. She was so special, and your poem is a lovely tribute to her. Thank you for sharing it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a loving tribute to Betty White, portrait by Ben, poem by Carol! I heard another one on NPR yesterday about how much The Golden Girls, and Betty, meant in the nineties to the LBGTQ community who were so attacked during the terrible HIV epidemic.

    Liked by 1 person

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