Dear Listers,

I just wanted to acknowledge that today, November 18th, is poet Madeline DeFrees 90th birthday. She was my teacher 27 years ago (!) when I was an undergraduate at UMass-Amherst. She was the first real poet I ever worked with — and the only one who I had private tutorials with. She taught me the art of revision – and a way to make a life of poetry. I’ve been bogging about her this week at my new blog if you’re interested. Happy Birthday, Madeline! May we all still be writing and publishing at 90!

Here’s a favorite poem. There are many others, but I’ve been writing about photography lately, so this one speaks to me today.

From the Darkroom

The image comes up slowly where light fell,
Pure positive from what was only lack.
The figure in focus stamps the pale
Surrender of the broken seal.
Knowing the light, it gives light back,
Shadow and nuance till the vision's whole,
Shadow and substance from the quick
Delight in its reciprocal.

Deeper than death the image burns
Its counterclaim unneutralized,
Renders detail in bold display
And will not, will not wash away
Or fix itself -- the instant prized --
Against the lesson all love spurns.

See you tonight at Elliott Bay if you’re  in town....
Susan Rich
Madeline DeFrees


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