When Sky Lets Go
In 17th Century Italy, the Jesuits had more wealth than they knew what to do with. The result was the baroque style of art and architecture, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, often fascinating. Madeline DeFrees too has an excess of wealth, and it is all interior. The result is baroque poems of substance and charm, always beautiful and always fascinating. When Sky Lets Go, the rain we’ve hoped for and needed so long falls rich and lovingly on our parched ears.
DeFrees has invented an emotional and spiritual x-ray vision in the refractory prisms of these poems. Just as one feels the density, the pressure of the earth in the hope of the diamond “waiting in its blue haze” one hundred and fifty miles down, so these poems flare with light precisely because their vision is sharpened by the impediments, the irony of “Marie Antoinette moving her jewels aside for the blade.” No disposable, paper-plate poetry here. No spastic surrealism or banal offhandedness. These interiors ask and deserve the diamond edge in us, our many returns.