Bill Graeser memorializes Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem “Magic Light”

Magic Light

By Bill Graeser

Ansel Adams sits up
reaches for his camera—
his arm bony as a tripod leg
for it is “Magic Light”
the golden light of sunrise
and sunset.

But then he lays back down
and focusing instead
through the lens of his soul
in the black box of his skull
he sees… all the light

that ever filled Yosemite
or blazed the crosses at Hernandez
and with his brittle jaw
with its few teeth remaining
there in the dark room of a coffin
he smiles.

“Magic Light” by Bill Graeser won the Iowa Poetry Association’s 2012 Norman Thomas Memorial Award. Bill posted it August 28, 2012.

Congratulations, Bill, you deserve this memorial award for a memorial poem of the great Ansel Adams. I’m sure he’d approve, and be pleased! Visit for more amazing photos.

Another great poem by Bill Graeser is What You May Not Know About Frankenstein. I posted it as At last—the truth about Frankenstein. Visit his website for more fine poetry and photographs:

Found this detailed interview with Marc Silber and Michael Adams: An Inside Look at Ansel Adams’ Photography In Yosemite, posted April 10, 2013. I also found this earlier fascinating video posted by Silber Studios on May 7, 2011 on How Ansel Adams Photographed His Iconic “Moonrise Hernandez”. Marc is given a tour of the house and darkroom by Ansel’s son, Michael Adams. He was seven years old and with his father when he took the iconic picture of the moonrise over Hernandez and described how he created it. The music was composed by Andrew Buffett, the American musician, composer, author and philanthropist. Peter is an Emmy Award winner, New York Times best-selling author and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. He is the youngest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Here is an earlier video posted by Marc Silber about advice on how to visualize your photos, from a rare interview with Ansel Adams: Photography Visualization Advice by Ansel Adams. Photo visualization was so important to Ansel Adams that he made it the first chapter of his book on photography.

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2 Responses to “Bill Graeser memorializes Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem “Magic Light””

  1. At last—the truth about Frankenstein | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Also see Bill Graeser memorializes Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem “Magic Light”. […]


  2. Poets Belong In Pastures—In praise of Bill Graeser | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Know About Frankenstein. Bill also memorializes photographer Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem Magic Light. See more of Bill’s poems and some of his own photographs on his blog, […]


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