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By James Penha
“Morse has brought the ends of the Earth together
and Daguerre has made it a picture gallery.”
--Frederick Douglass, "Pictures and Progress," 1864
And Frederick is so certain--
for Daguerre has taught
the God of day to deck
the world with pictures--
of the power of the camera
to commit him to posterity,
he looks aside of it, demanding
that we recollect and admire
his naked bondage
but with eyes as well on the verge
not merely of the mountain top
but the view from its apex,
vast and glorious expanse,
plains, rivers, lakes, oceans,
the zephyr stirred leaf,
the roaring torrent deep,
outstanding headlands and precipitous rocks:
shadows painted on the walls
that awe and thrill,
shadows that in the midst of war
contrast with the light of day.
These miraculous pictures
will be clasped, he knows,
in frames of truths and lies.
#Unreal #Poem #FrederickDouglass #BlackHistoryMonth
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