Madeleine Hennessy

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI had often wondered what happened to Madeleine Hennessy. Back in July1979, when I was twelve, my father returned from the American Library Association’s annual convention with a small bundle of literary magazines and one poetry chapbook that he’d picked up at an exhibitor’s booth — probably from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (now the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses). The magazines, all published that year, included Wascana Review, The Yale Review, Ploughshares and Shenendoah. The chapbook was called Pavor Nocturnus and Other Poems, by Madeleine Hennessey. It was published by an outfit called washoutchapbooks in Schenectady, New York.

This was my first poetry chapbook, and I was entranced. My brothers and I were putting out a quarterly nature magazine at the time, so I had an interest in well-produced zines and zine-like publications. Pavor Nocturnus was perfect-bound, 32 pages long, and printed on heavy stock. The illustrator, Ed Bruhn, was given his own brief bio at the end. The front matter credits him not only with the cover and photography, but also with something called radiation field photography: five, full-page, enigmatic images of tree leaves seemingly in the process of dissolving into the page.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOf the author, I learned little other than that she was, apparently, young, and that some of the poems in the book had originally appeared in other places: Shaman, The Hollow Spring Review, Yankee, The Greenfield Review, and Ploughshares — in fact, the very issue of Ploughshares included in the bundle. The back cover was graced by a blurb from Joseph Bruchac, the prolific Abenaki Indian author and storyteller and long-time editor of The Greenfield Review: “The landscapes of memory, magic and sorrow are mapped in these poems of Madeleine Hennessy’s with both power and grace. PAVOR NOCTURNUS is a strong first book of poems and one which I’m glad to be able to recommend.”

Memory, magic and sorrow: yes. The magic, in particular, was something I appreciated. My favorite poets at the time were, as I recall, Loren Eisley — better known as a science writer — and Robinson Jeffers. I hadn’t yet discovered those two great wellsprings of inspiration for post-war American poets: Tang and Song Dynasty Chinese and medieval Japanese poetry; and 20th-century Spanish and Latin American poetry. Pavor Nocturnus may well have been my introduction to a kind of understated-yet-dramatic, surrealist-tinged style which, all these years later, seems to have become my own, as well. I’m not good at describing poetry, but let me give a few examples so you’ll see what I mean — and why I was so taken with the book.

In “Prizefighter,” Hennessy writes in the “expected voice” of another — a new technique to me at the time.

The world is roped
and flat
and fisted.
I embrace you
and pummel.
Pulled away
I pummel again.
I go for
cheeks and flank,
your dancing
face bubbles and splits.
You go down
among blows,
broken. Arms curling
back to mama.
I hear the roar,
the count.
Sounds of money.
Hands are upon me
unclenched.

I really liked the way she wrote about poetry in a couple of pieces, suggesting that it is something dangerous and vital and not merely an artifact on the page:

Poems I have not written
I have not written for you.
I might see
those hooked letters catch your skin,
the soft ones curl around each limb.
In my kitchen
pouring the tea
the curve of the handle
would break your hand and spilling,
the white pages scald your eye.
(“Poems Not Written”)

These mornings
wake with a bomb.
I rush in my flannels to read

the maps that were my poems.
My bladed tongue agitates the wireless;
who is digging trenches along my bones

wearing a gas mask instead of a face?
(“Pavor Nocturnus”)

Growing up in the country, I was always on the lookout for poems that offered an unsentimentalized view of wild nature. Some of the pieces in Pavor Nocturnus satisfied this craving. One appeared to have been written in response to Robert Frost’s most famous poem, which I had committed to memory a couple years before:

A loss is consuming the road,
the step of a girl not taken.
She haunts the long tunnel of leaves,
she aches with both hands
and dreads the sky’s domestic turnings.
(“Something of a Loss”)

There was a lot in the book that was over my head, but that didn’t turn me off — I always kind of enjoyed getting lost. For example, I’m not sure what I got out of this description of a falconer’s longed-for catch, brought back by the falcon:

It would glitter before you–
a handful of light
in the shape of water,
some patched shadows
with light as borders.
You’d see filaments
tilting in trees, and learn
the secret light-breathings
of leaves.

Then you would be falconer,
then a master.
Your arm extended
beyond itself
into its own clear shape.

A love poem dedicated to someone named Tom did nothing for me, though it now strikes me as excellent. But a number of poems privileged the perspectives of children, such as this one about a team of landscapers:

They call to one another
and pause,
eyes of neighborhood children
in the hedges.
They consider fencing
against the rabbits, their hands
a threat of metal.

Dirt collapses like a dream,
a shift in purpose
toward borders and rows.

We watch.
The marigolds poised,
symmetry of measured grasses.
Everything ravaged to order.
(“The Landscapers”)

I was a little taken aback by the ease with which Hennessy mythologized herself in a few of her poems. This seemed of a piece with the poems in others’ voices, suggesting a fluid boundary between self and other, observer and observed. I think this made a big impression on me, because I was kind of a strange little kid (hard to believe, I know!) who spent a lot of time pondering metaphysical questions, such as whether the self is a real thing or a purely social fiction. (I eventually decided in favor of the latter.) My favorite poem in the book was the one that also appeared in the thick, Vol. 5, No. 1 issue of Ploughshares:

Letter to my Mother

This may come as a surprise to you
but as a child
I belonged to another family.
And even as your child I knew it.

They lived on the side of a mountain
in a thin house of boards.
The walls went many ways.
I learned to walk at angles,
to come and go
without a crash.

Each morning I slopped water
from the well
to the screams of another mother.
We had a father who had a car
that he parked on a slant
near the slanted house.

Mother, when I was your child
I wondered about this other family.
I woke alone and they appeared:
children scrambling
on the tilted porch,
mother yelling at the well.

Probably every child fantasizes about having been somehow switched at birth or given up for adoption, and dreams about a different life where all his or her desires would be met; I know I did. This poem struck me with its implication that the speaker’s apparently real childhood was, in fact, the fantasy of some much less well-off child. I went to school with kids like that, and my parents had told us repeatedly not to resent their occasional bullying or meanness — we were to assume that they came from “bad backgrounds,” whatever that meant. “There but for the grace of God go I” was (and still is) one of my mother’s favorite expressions.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSo whatever happened to Madeleine Hennessy? As the years went by, I kept expecting to see reviews of her books, or at least encounter more of her work in literary magazines. Back in 1979, she was one of a crowded field of talented young poets just beginning to make a name for themselves. Among other poets appearing with her in the Ploughshares Special Poetry Issue that year, I see from the Notes on Contributors that Ellen Bryant Voigt and Heather McHugh had just published their first books, while Linda Gregerson and Jorie Graham are only described as having published poems in a few other magazines. The Winter 1979 issue of Shenendoah — the other thing in the bundle that really caught my fancy — included a three-page poem by a then-unknown Louise Erdrich.

When I first began using the internet twenty years later, I did a search for “Madeleine Hennessy” and couldn’t find anything (other than, eventually, the Ploughshares listing). I repeated the search last November, and something finally turned up. It was an obituary from The York [Maine] Weekly, 2002.

Madeleine Joyce Hennessy, 53, of Trumbull, Conn., died Tuesday, March 26, 2002, at her home after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born Sept. 18, 1948, in Syracuse, N.Y., she was the daughter of Richard and Doris (Howe) Hennessy of Cape Neddick.

She was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church in the Nichols section of Trumbull. As warden she was instrumental in the development of the Trinity memorial garden. Madeleine was a dedicated member of the adult choir, and participated fully in the life of the church.

Madeleine always loved written language. As a little girl, words and their power fascinated her. She began writing poetry before the age of 10. An outstanding high school English student, she won the English medal upon graduation from Notre Dame High School. Madeleine majored in English and earned a BA degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1970, where she was also named in “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.”

Madeleine’s first post-college job was with the Schenectady County Department of Social Services. She began in 1970 as a child welfare adoption worker and was promoted to foster care case supervisor before resigning in 1984 to move to Connecticut and to raise her first child.

While living in Schenectady, Madeleine developed her talents as a poet. For more than 10 years Madeleine was a member of a local poetry group, where her contributions as an insightful critic were considered invaluable. She was a contributing poet and on the editorial board of The Washout Review, a quarterly magazine published in Schenectady. Madeleine also published regularly in Yankee Magazine. Pavor Nocturnus and The Christmas Poems of Madeleine Hennessy are her two self-published poetry books. While extending her talents as a poet, Madeleine developed an interest in newspapers. Her career path included positions such as a nursery school teacher, editing and proofreading, and she was a consultant for various companies. Most recently, she was employed by Micro Warehouse as senior catalogue manager, where she was loved and respected by her coworkers. Madeleine was a devoted mother and was dearly loved by her many friends. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Besides her parents, she is survived by her daughters, Caitlin Anne Smolinski and Julie Grace Smolinski of Trumbull; a sister, Doris Blaisdell and her husband, Thomas of York; two brothers, James Hennessy and his wife, Sandy of Newton, N.H., and Richard Hennessy and his wife, Joelyn, of Madison, Miss.; a brother-in-law, Jeff Blum of Westport, Conn.; her devoted companion, Gerry Lemay of Milford, Conn.; several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by a sister, Mary H. Blum, in 1996.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 30 in Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in her name to Trinity Episcopal Church Memorial Garden Fund, 1734 Huntington Turnpike, Trumbull, CT 06601, or to the Connecticut Higher Education Trust, P.O. Box 150499, Hartford, CT 06115, to benefit the education of her daughters.

It’s sobering to to think that a poet of such talent and vision might choose obscurity, devoting herself to family and community rather than the “arm extended / beyond [her]self / into its own clear shape.” How many others are there, I wonder, who have made the same choice?

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All images in this post are by Ed Bruhn, from Pavor Nocturnus

36 Comments


  1. Dave, this is a thing of beauty. It was obviously something that had been rolling around inside of you for a long time. Do you think Madeleine really made a choice?

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  2. Only in a manner of speaking, I suppose. Do any of us really choose where we end up? From my perspective, aside from her early and no doubt unpleasant death, she may in fact have been more fortunate than someone like Jorie Graham, who seems so driven.

    It might be interesting to try and find out how many of the literary contemporaries whom I linked to also had chidren, as Hennessy did. According to the obit, she moved away from Schenectady — and thus the reading circle — after the birth of her first child. She would’ve been 35 or 36 at the time.

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  3. This is a lovely piece, dave. I hope Madeleine Hennessy continued to write poems, but just never thought to publish them. Perhaps she had journals, paper napkins, matchbook covers, and folded up scraps of paper everywhere filled with her poetic epiphanies.

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  4. A fascinating post, Dave. I’m saving a full examination of that phenomenon almost unknown in my country, American poetry, for my retirement. Now I must add Madeleine Hennessy to the growing list.

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  5. robin andrea – Yes, it’s hard to believe she didn’t continue writing in some form. The obituary mentions a second chapbook of Christmas poems, which sounds as if it might have been geared to a different, less literary audience than the first. I couldn’t find any results at Bookfinder.com. What’s surprising is that so many results did turn up for Pavor Nocturnus, but it was published with help from the CCLM, who obviously distributed it fairly widely (judging from its inclusion in the ALA booth display).

    Dick – Well, let me know when you’re ready — I’ll be glad to furnish you with a list of some of my favorites.

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  6. Having a child can easily and substantially change a woman’s perspective and priorities — perhaps especially (though certainly not only) one who demonstrated a prior professional interest in children.

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  7. As I read this piece, I was thinking of how many young writers, artists, and musicians wander off into another chapter of life. Many creative people seem to pick up the threads they dropped later in their lives. I was hoping that would be how things turned out in Madeleine’s case.

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  8. mb – I’m sure you’re right.

    bev – It may well be that she was figuring on getting back into poetry when her daughters went off to college. Too bad she never got that chance.

    A good example of a late bloomer is the prolific and influential poet William Stafford, who didn’t publish his first book until he was 50 … but who lived until the age of 79.

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  9. Ellen Byrant Voigt has children, as does Louise Erdrich. I don’t know about Jorie Graham, but I do know that Heather McHugh does not have children … but yes, for some writers, (and I think this applies only to women, from my meager experience), having children changes a lot of things, including their relationship to the practice of their art. That some can return and become late bloomers, is a nice hope to have, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Not unless they keep writing on napkins, so to speak — or practicing their art in some form or other…

    This is a wonderful post, by the way!

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  10. maria – Thanks for the info. and perspective. I guess your own first book of poems (which I just got for Christmas, by the way) didn’t see the light of day until your sons were well advanced in their teenaged years.

    dale – Mostly, though, I’ll bet.

    Gabe – Thanks. Any thoughts on being simultaneously parent and poet (and novelist, and office worker)?

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  11. Dave, what a wonderful tribute. One part that jumped out for me was, “her devoted companion, Gerry Lemay.” What happened in her relationship to the father of her children? Is Gerry Lemay a man or a woman?

    I’ll bet those poems on nampkins might be collected by either her children or Gerry Lemay. They may not even know how they might be appreciated by others.

    Regarding her “short” life. When someone dies young there is a tendancy for us to view that life as only a part of a life. This is really coming from our own projections I think. I’m not ready for my life to be over so I am bereft of the loss of another person– or more likely, I feel uncomfortable with the obit that would be written for me should I die today so I avoid that fear by denying the wholeness of the other person’s life.

    I’m reminded of the very short poem by Yehuda Amichai written in his last book which I can’t find right now, titled, “Patuach sagur, patuach” “Open, Closed, Open.” In that poem our usual conceptions of life and death are flipped and what comes before life and after life are “open” while what lies in the boundaries of our corporeal existance is “closed”.

    Dave, you’ve once again moved me and stirred me up!

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  12. Shai- Welcome back!

    Gerry can be a man’s name (short for Gerald). I hesitate to speculate too much in that direction, though, because simply knowing the bare facts wouldn’t tell you much about inner motivation.

    I agree with most of what you say about living a “short” life, etc. My regret is for all the “poems not written”: that’s why, however long a poet of Hennessy’s calibre may live, it will still seem too short for me. William Stafford was just hitting his stride when he cashed in at 79.

    My edition of The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai concludes with, I think, the stuff he wrote just before the collection entitled Open Closed Open. So I haven’t read that one yet.

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  13. i am caitlin, eldest daughter of madeleine hennessy. i am 22 and my mother died almost 5 years ago, just 2 weeks after my 18th birthday. my sister (younger) and i were obviously devastated, and it has taked me a long time to come to terms with my emotions. i dropped out of college (i had been planning to major in english and become an elementary school teacher) after a year of failing classes, drinking, promiscuity, and self-mutilation. my mother was an incredibly intelligent and loving person and i know she passed her emotional fortitude onto me. i have learned to play the hand i’ve been dealt, and have since becone a hairstylist and am working to establish my professional career. getting my hair license and working full-time has given me great satisfaction. i think of my mother every day, but i also think of all the wonderful things i have for which i am so grateful, like my health, job, and family, and my boyfriend, who is my best friend. i live every day knowing that i too could be gone in 30 years through suffering and ailment. but i refuse to let it turn me into a pessimistic person. i plan to have children, and raise them the way my mother raised me. i know she sacrificed years of potential literary accomplishment to give my sister and me everything we could ever want or need, and it was certainly not for nothing. i plan to do the same when i start a family: put my career on the back burner and be the best wife and mother i can possibly be. i am very proud of all my mother’s publications and it comorts me to know that she enjoyed time devoted to her art before her family obligations took over.
    any response or questions are welcome, and i look forward to hearing from people who take the same interest in my mother’s work that i do.
    thank you.

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  14. Hi Caitlin – Thanks so much for writing this. I don’t know what to say other than I am glad that my intuitions about your mother were correct. Even as a kid, when I first read her poems I formed the impression of someone with the power to look depression and misery in the eye and grin it down the way Davy Crockett was said (apocryphally, I’m sure) to have grinned down a bear. When nothing more from her appeared in the intervening decades, I used to wonder if perhaps she had succumbed to some form of mental illness or depression — what a relief to find out that that wasn’t the case! I’m glad to hear that you’re managing to put your own life back together and taking courage from her example. I can barely imagine what that must have been like, to lose such a mother so young.

    I really appreciate your openness to entertain queries about your mother. When I wrote this post, it was with the idea of creating an online memorial that will remain as long as there’s an internet (knock on wood). So I guess my first and most immediate question is: Do you have any poems or other works of your mother you’d like to share? I’d be happy to put them up in another post, interlinked with this one. Did she indeed continue to write poems in “journals, paper napkins, matchbook covers, and folded up scraps of paper,” as one of the readers hypothesized above?

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  15. Dave you are doing good work here!

    Caitlin, I believe that you have inherited your mother’s writing skills!

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  16. Caitlin’s post was quite moving. There was a powerful story on NPR’s Morning Edition today about native American parents sending their kids off to schools off the reservation at quite young ages. On the one hand, they are sent away from their culture and their family. On the other — it gives them one of the only paths to avoid poverty and to get a good education. In relation to the Hennessey story it makes me think of the many different ways that parents suffer for the sake of their children.

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  17. Lori Witzel sent me your way…

    ***

    This is a lovely post—the long admiration of a little-known poet, the arc of the life, and then (in the wondrous way of the people-catching Net) her eldest daughter turning up. As mother of three and poet/writer, I’d say that one ought not to stress what could be perceived as work “left undone.â€? Reviewers often find reason to point out what a book fails to be, rather than seeing it for what it is. I find the same thing in lives; too often we look at what wasn’t managed, rather than what was.

    To me, it looks as though Madeleine Hennessy had a complex life, shot through with creativity and spirit. She is linked to literature, motherhood, service to children in the important foster care program and in nursery care, gardens, music, God and a liturgical church (there’s your passionate poet in later life—reciting the words of The Book of Common Prayer!) All these things are marks of service and a rich inner life: “She was an inspiration to all who knew her.â€?

    Yeats said that “The intellect of man is forced to choose /
    Perfection of the life, or of the work.” There aren’t so very many people who wrestle the angel for either one and win a blessing.

    ***
    Fooh! I’m talking too much. One other thought, all the same: I know a good many people who have quit writing. One quit after the first book, another after the 12th. If I look, say, at a friend who stopped writing after her first book, I don’t find that her life ended. She is even more fascinating now than she was at a younger age. As I don’t want to give away her privacy, I’ll just say that she works with museums and with rare breeds of animals.

    All those I know who have quit writing did so because of something to do with publishing. One had a ‘hit’ but absolutely hated everything about the publishing scene. Others were tired of publishing books that dropped into oblivion because nobody knew that they had been published. The titles merely added honor to the list.

    It’s a challenging world for the writer who aspires. The country and the times we live in encourage the idea that books that are “pushed” by the publisher and make money are the ‘good’ books. As a reader, I’ve made a 2007 resolution to work harder to call attention to books that are invisible because they are never moved into the light and so remain overshadowed by stacks of bestsellers. And that’s what you’ve done here–brought a writer out of shadows and into the light.

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  18. What a remarkable tribute and comment thread! Caitlin, thank you for speaking up here. I hope your path in life will be a happy and fulfilling one from here on out; sounds like you’ve got your head on straight. Having lost my own mother recently, I can sympathize with what a huge hole it creates in your life – but it’s also true that the lessons these mothers teach never leave us, nor does their love. As an Episcopalian I’m also glad that Madeleine had that church community and the comfort of liturgy and spoken word; you can never know about other people’s deepest feelings, but if I had been in her place, I know what it would have meant to me. Thanks for this post, Dave.

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  19. Shai – Thanks for helping put Hennessy’s sacrifice in context.

    marly – Great comment. (You can never talk too much at Via Negativa! ) Thanks in particular for reminding us of that Yeats quote, which seems very apropos. As for the publishing industry, yes, I know that’s a major factor for many of us who maybe just aren’t highly driven/competitive in the first place. I don’t even enjoy submitting stuff to literary magazines, because I resent the way authors are expected to list their accomplishments in every cover letter. That whole self-promoting aspect of our culture disgusts me.

    beth – Thanks for weighing in.

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  20. Yes, it is rather disgusting, though I go so far as to have a web site with a bibliography (must update, some day!), and a blog.

    You know, what I hate is the whole process of getting all the little envelopes and stamps and sending out and waiting and now and then they lose the stuff and… These days I tend to wait for somebody to ask.

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  21. These days I tend to wait for somebody to ask.
    Yeah, that’s the way my mother is now, too. Why not? You’ve paid your dues.

    BUT if you submit stuff to qarrtsiluni, the blogzine I help edit, I guarantee a response in less than a week! Consider yourself asked.

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  22. hi, this is caitlin again. just responding to the inquiries regarding whether or not my mother continued to write poetry:she did. she mostly wrote poems and short stories, some of which were awarded in the Trumbull Arts Festival in Trumbull, Connecticut, where my sister and I were raised. her continuing project was an annual homemade Christmas card, on which she worked together with her younger sister, doris (who has always been, and still is, my “auntie D-D”). My mother would create a different Christmas poem every year and helped my aunt create a personalized greeting; a joint effort. they were always charming and thoughtfully designed (my aunt would use stationary, textured paper, pictures, etc.) and each years’s card alluded to a unique central theme. I don’t have any of these old cards, but I will share with you one of my favorite pieces from a book my mother published in 2001 entitled “The Christmas Poems.” Enjoy.

    First Snow

    The quiet woke me first,
    Then the light unfolding its winter white linen.
    It had snowed all night
    And as I listened for the sound
    of my father shoveling,
    The sharp, regular scrapes he made
    into morning
    Soft clumps breaking like foam over a clear wave
    As he went along.
    Snow held everything whole except
    for the paths he cut.
    The new, smooth shapes of the world
    Felt the way I wanted things to be.
    I listened until there was no sound. Then,
    He, clomping through the front door,
    Shaking the cold from him,
    Woke the house from snow, his voice
    Scattering the quiet like a wind
    through the trees.

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  23. Caitlin needs to make a web site for her mama some day! And Dave, thanks for letting us know about the additional note…

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  24. Wow! Thanks Caitlin and Dave. I read this as my city was digging out from another 6 inches of snow.

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  25. What a beautiful poem. So good of Caitlin to post it for us. Thanks for letting us know about it, dave.

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  26. Caitlin Anne Smolinski

    I think my last transmission to you went to the “Moderation Queue” but as I am not too computer literate yet, please send me an email at poppino3@juno.com so that I can finish.

    My wife Kathy Poppino and I knew Madeleine very very well from 1974 thru 1984. Kathy was a very active poet at the time along with Nan Johnson who worked with Madelenie with the Washout Review with editing and producing the anthology.

    I since became a poet in 1998, retiring from GE in 2002. Hope to hear from you. Our phone is 1-518-374-5410.
    Please call or email. Best to you, Bill Poppino

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  27. Dave Bonta & Caitlin – I am pleased to let you know that the Schenectady County Dept of Social Services has posted in their ‘foster care’ lobby a photo of Madeleine Hennessy and a ‘bio’ of her employment with the Department from 1970 – 1984, plus six of her poems – which I selected from Pavor Nocturnus. One of our leading County legislators, Karen Johnson, was the person who presented my idea to the Commissioner of Social Services, who immediately thought it would be a moral booster to employees and clients alike.
    I am sure this will please you both. Bill Poppino

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    1. Hi Bill – That’s a wonderful idea, and a great tribute. Thanks. And thanks for letting us know.

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  28. Madeleine was my room mate in Plattsburgh State…perhaps if I can remember in 1968-9. We occupied a room on the third floor of a boarding house on Brinkerhoff St. It was an attic room…her bed on one side…my bed on the other. I fancied myself a poet…but there was nothing like Madeleine and her work.

    We were not friends…I was lost, poetic, and rolling into the culture of politics and flower children. I was younger than Madeleine. She must have thought I was a little crazy.

    I found our boarding house stifling and, having come from very strict Puerto Rican family expectations, I was a rebel…I wanted to move in with my boyfriend James Groccia…something my family would never have allowed.

    I was in awe of Madeleine and her poetry. I never never forgot her brilliance. I wonder if she ever thought of me.

    Bless her talent…I am still trying to write

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    1. Hi Olga – Thanks for adding your recollections to this online memorial. That was a wild time from what I hear (I was only 2-3 years old).

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  29. a poem written by Madeleine at age 12 yrs.
    ” a child’s delight is mine as the open sea I greet
    the wind plays with my hair, the waves pound at my feet
    the sea seems to beckon, ” Come. Let’s have a duel
    to see who has the greater strength, who is the greater fool.”
    So, I accept the challenge, tho I cannot tame the sea
    but thus, in turn, I know the sea cannot tame me.”
    at 18, she was often writing on scraps of paper & napkins.

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  30. As Editor of ETCETERA, SUNY at Plattsburgh’s literary and fine arts magazine in 1967-1969 I had the pleasure of publishing the early poetry of both Madeleine Hennessy and Olga-Teresa Mousset. They were both brilliant poets for such a young age. I am so very sorry that Madeleine died at such a young age as she was an amazing woman even at twenty. If find it wonderful that Olga-Teresa is still writing, dancing and painting and remembers Madeleine so fondly.

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  31. I remember Madeleine very well from Plattsburgh days. She was very generous in giving me advice on my poetry at the time. A very classy lady. I’m so sorry she passed on much too soon.

    It’s nice to know that Jamie Groccia and Olga Mousset are still among us. I remember two creative and high energy people.

    Thanks, Dave, for posting your wonderful remembrance!

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