Black & White: A Poem with Photographs

Black & White: A Poem with PhotographsBlack & White: A Poem with Photographs by Louis Dienes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this book is beautiful. It moved me to tears. The poem is one of the most imaginative I’ve ever read—it’s wild in a way—yet about everyday things! And the photographs show you what the poet saw, which you might not have seen at all, bringing out the deep and surprising meaning in both the words and images. The Preface by the author tells how the book came to be: Louis Dienes was looking at photographs he’d taken and writing about them, but he didn’t think of joining the poem and the photographs into a book until many years later, when his teacher, Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, took up his poem in an Aesthetic Realism class and spoke about the importance of the work. And also in the Preface, Louis Dienes tells about how his life changed because he learned to see everything, including his father (who has a place in the poem with many others things and people), differently through studying this principle stated by Eli Siegel: “In reality opposites are one; art shows this”—the motto of the Terrain Gallery in NYC.

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