In this work, Louis Dienes (1925-2016) joins his poem to the photographs he looked at when he wrote the poem. In the Preface he says: "'Black & White' is a poem I wrote in the spring of 1957 at the suggestion of Dorothy Koppelman, director of the Terrain Gallery in New York City....The Terrain was at the fore front... pointing to a criterion for beauty in all the arts with its motto: 'In reality opposites are one; art shows this'--a statement by Eli Siegel, poet, critic, educator, and founder of Aesthetic Realism....[The poem] expresses the wonder I felt learning about the opposites--including black and white....The message of my book is: 'beauty can be seen in what you may find around you.' That is the victory in the last line of the poem: the victory of respect over contempt...."
From the Review by Len Bernstein, Photographer, and Karen VanOutryve, Poet, published in Journal of the Print World:
Louis Dienes (1925-2016) is one of the important poets and also one of the important photographers of America. His images show the dignity and grandeur of everyday situations, people, and objects; they are exciting and powerful. This alone would be reason enough to recom-mend his recently published book. But another reason is: his poem “Black & White,” the basis of this book, is one of the real, musically stirring poems of the last century.
Links to poetry by Louis Dienes:
From Personal and Impersonal: Six Aesthetic Realists
Aesthetic Realism Looks at New York City: Poems about New York
Photography by Louis Dienes
Terrain Gallery 2011 "This Great, Diverse City: How Should We See It?"