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English professor M.L. Liebler comments in a news article about romantic cards signed by Mario

Date: 2/12/2015

Macomb Daily, 2/11

Mario's love for his Duchess sparks the romance in all of us

St. Clair Shores Poet Laureate and Wayne State University English professor M.L. Liebler comments about romantic cards signed by Mario in the 1940’s that he wrote to his “duchess.” “He might have learned it in school,” said Liebler, who teaches a creative writing class at Wayne State. “Browning’s poem is kind of dark -- but the term duchess is very romantic. Someone the writer refers to as my duchess would be a person they are romantically linked to or have great affections for.” Liebler believes that Mario is probably Italian, and since we’re talking Michigan in the 1940s it could be that Mario was an immigrant from Italy or Spain, where poetry has always been held in high regard. “In European culture, even to this day, more importance is put on the arts and poetry in particular,” said Liebler. “It’s only in the last 30 years that poetry has gained in popularity here.” People used to have this idea that poems were only written by a person of wealth, scholars or people of higher education. “I know of a poet who is a mechanic,” Liebler said. “This Mario could have been a working-class guy.”