Richard Wilbur, the poet who went against the idea that “light writes white”

“’Light writes white.’

“The exact source of this phrase is hard to pin down, but its meaning is clear enough: If you’re happy, then your page stays blank. There must be some friction for the words to catch fire. No suffering, no song. No absence, no art.

“A deep vein of recent American poetry can be read in the wake of that phrase….”

The Poet of Light – Christian Wiman – New York Times – 1/12/18

Richard Wilbur – The Reader

She is going back, these days, to the great stories
That charmed her younger mind. A shaded light
Shines on the nape half-shadowed by her curls,
And a page turns now with a scuffing sound.

Read rest of poem (scroll down) 

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