Stages of Life

The Writing of
Jean Butridge Van Deusen

Mother loved to create, and she loved to see and understand the beauties of the world around her. She was an artist who painted on my mind, so that I would see what she saw. She was trained during the Art Deco period, and all of her instincts were to say the least, or draw the least, and make the viewer or reader join her in the artistic completion. She was perfectly comfortable with the notion that each work was distinct by reason of her audience. She didn't have to dominate the mind of her collaborators; she was more than happy to fade into the background and let the instantiation of each new piece belong to her readers or viewers.

Finding mother behind her pseudonym of Princesse Dorothy brought back memories of her cherished books of Oz, and of the nighttime stories we invented together of a group of titled, gossipy friends. I look back sadly while remembering that all of these women were always divorced, as was mother.

I knew father only from mother's anger, and the quest of my life has been to find the key to his mind which, I believed, would be his poetry. In 1999 my husband Paul finally found both father and mother's poetry in the microfilm of the University of Chicago Daily Maroon. I'm so grateful that Paul, rather than I, was the finder, because it enabled him to become an integral part of this journey of understanding. And it gave him the opportunity to give me something of such deep importance that he glows with his gift. And that, in itself, is another gift.

Chicago Sketches

University of Chicago Daily Maroon 1928-1929
*Night LinesOct 6, 1928
EvergreensOct 31, 1928
*The First ViolinOct 31, 1928
*To the Anxious Big ManNov 6, 1928
Night EcstasyNov 8, 1928
SunsetNov 8, 1928
ArmisticeNov 14, 1928
The FutilityNov 21, 1928
"You Bid Me Come"Dec 6, 1928
*PartingDec 14, 1928
*For The Saturnine SeamanJan 16, 1929
*The EgoistsJan 16, 1929
*Winter MadnessJan 29, 1929
February DaysFeb 27, 1929
MusingFeb 28, 1929
"How shall I know spring"Mar 5, 1929

* May I recommend

[Mother, High School,
Writing, Chicago Sketches, The Whistle
Art - 1, Art - 2, Art - 3]

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