Dedication to Dr. Abby Lippman



This issue is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Abby Lippman (1939-2017).

As we were preparing to go on-line with this issue, we were hit with an emotional sledgehammer.  Abby Lippman – a frequent contributor to Serai, a dear friend, comrade and longstanding Montréal scientist, a bio-ethicist, feminist, human rights activist and a constant presence in all weather on the streets of Montréal in protests against racism and discrimination – passed away suddenly on December 26. Our issue of Montréal Serai on Spirit is dedicated to this champion. The last two poems she submitted to us are featured here. She will rest in power, we are sure about that.” (Editorial, Montréal Serai, Volume 30, Issue 4)

This is how Abby introduced her poems in her submission:

Working on writing on other things for other media, but if you want either/both of these poems, my first attempts at this genre, here you go.  Otherwise, am perhaps developing them as the basis for bioethical discussion “cases” as a friend suggested I might do for my UdM bioethics site…

These are my first drafts but no time to refine them as real/only poems.




A puzzlement,
or is it a conundrum?

When it’s NOT OK to be OK
and also
when it’s OK NOT to be OK.

Not a play on words, tho if so,
it’s the only playfulness the two letters
surrounded here with negative charges allow.

Otherwise, it’s more than their reversal,
the KO felt\when hitting the floor yet again,
and those in your corner know it’s OK not to be OK and
it’s, well, OK that they know.




Where are we when LOST in thoughts?
Where are the minds that a person loses:
the lost words and faces not recalled.

Where is our temper when we lose it?

What is lost in translation?

Where do these lost thoughts, feelings; these lost words, go?
Do they live? Do they die?
Surely they are not like the socks and gloves gone missing in a clothes dryer.

And what about the person for whom all this is lost?
What remains of her? And where is she to be found?


Editor’s note March 2018 – please find information about a memorial below:

Celebration of the life of Abby Lippman

L’Institut Simone-De Beauvoir de l’Université Concordia a le plaisir de vous confirmer que la célébration commémorative de la vie d’Abby Lippman aura lieu

le 27 avril 2018
de 17h à 19h

au Centre de conférence (pièce MB-9CD)
9ième étage de l’édifice John-Molson de l’Université Concordia
1450, rue Guy (en face de la station de métro Guy-Concordia)

Une description plus détaillée de l’évènement suivra, mais veuillez réserver la date maintenant.

The Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia University is delighted to confirm that the celebration of the life of Abby Lippman will take place

April 27, 2018
from 5pm to 7pm

at the Concordia University Conference Centre (Room MB-9CD)
9th floor of the John Molson Building
1450 Guy street (in front of the Guy/Concordia metro station)

A more detailed description of the event will follow, but we want to let you know the date now so you can reserve it.

Abby Lippman was a Professor Emeritus at McGill University in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. She was also a feminist and a passionate human rights activist.