A SPECIAL EDUCATION by Meredith Bergmann
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After the miracle there is no rest.
It will not fade to fact at our behest.
Meredith Bergmann’s first collection of poems offers us a special education indeed: out of the losses and silences of the personal and historic past, she summons speech, and from it creates poems of enduring (my prophecy here) artfulness. The lesson her little book offers is nothing less than what the good life is and how it may be lived."
What this poetry collection does is miraculous. Functioning as both microscope and telescope, each poem focuses with obsessive precision on such details as the physical features of a stranger observed at a bus stop, well-chewed toys, the “grouchiness” of a film crew on location at dawn, the bewildered huddling of a trapped bird “uncoaxable as chronic sorrow.” But then the language swings away and out, telescope-like, to take in the landscape, history, art, archaeology, the absent perfection no longer awaited at the dinner table or anywhere else in life.
That kind of scope gracefully managed is remarkable enough, but the real miracle resides in the theme deftly woven throughout, unifying the collection and identifying its constant true focus: the “education,” not only of the precious, gifted mind in the author’s care, but her own self-taught capacity for growth, acceptance, resilience and hope.
This book is a gift for all parents—for all people intent on the precarious future of what is most dear—full of lessons learned at incalculable personal cost, and shared in the language of a uniquely accomplished poet, visual artist and parent."
(RHINA P. ESPAILLAT)
Staple Bound Chapbook