I wish I could remember where or when.
But sometime in the last 12 years, under circumstances I can’t recall, I found myself in a small room with several others preparing to listen as Marian Seldes, the legendary actor who died earlier this week at the age of 86, recited a poem.
The first and only introductory words she spoke was the title: The Truly Great by Sir Stephen Spender.
And then she began. No commentary.
I was stunned. The poem has always been a favorite of mine, a classic panegyric ending with a soaring verse about those who, even during short lives, choose to live with fiery passion and leave us in awe of their courage and honor.
It was magic, and however in the world I found myself in that room, I will always be grateful.
And always will remember Marian Seldes as one who, as Spender wrote:
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour
Marian Seldes. Dim the lights.