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Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems

4.67  ·  Rating Details ·  12 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Titled after a Jackson Pollock painting at once figural and abstract, this collection spans nearly fifty years of Bill Berkson’s poetry in all its deftness and variety. His poems, full of nuance, intensity, and exuberant wit, spread meaning across the page like quicksilver. Engaging in a mix of topics and styles, Berkson deals with aspects of the observable world, dreams, ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Coffee House Press
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Eddie Watkins
Though mostly grey now he’s still one of the sunniest poets around.

I like his work for so many reasons: the humor, the syntactical magic and sleight of mind, the sublime elevation of the mundane through clear & close observation, the irreducible mystery bathed in the clear light of day, the concision (he’s written some of the best short poems around, succinct and cryptically vast), the ability to subsume a host of contemporary influences/homages into his own particular style, and above all
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