4.14.2009

Death of Deborah Digges

I unfortunately was an early student of Deborah's -- she wasn't the great teacher and mentor that by all accounts she became, was, for two decades -- she hadn't written a memoir.

She was a good poet, someone with a good ear who wrote about form -- in fact, I felt that she'd been hired mostly because of this -- we had a few students very interested in form. She was enduring her Plumley divorce, I think. In the class were now-novelist James Conrad, Barbara Tran, Caroline Crumpacker, one of the two poet Sarah Kennedys (I think)....

What I keep returning to since I heard the news is the ways her poems are Plath obsessed; the ear, totally different, the approach to form-as-executed, I think finally more sophisticated. But the obsessions are there, and then I remember her focus on the repetitions of the repetive form to enact obsession, the knife poem, the big cuts/little cuts poem...

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