Eddie Watkins's Reviews > Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems

Portrait and Dream by Bill Berkson
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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 the masterly craftsmanship and ultra-fine ear.

He does all this while “keeping it new” (but not too new) and allowing his deep Romantic/Classical roots to intertwine above and below ground and up into daily brightness.


On Ice

Doors of jostled vicinity
An eager angle extending in the sky a grey chasm
Tip of island street morning wash
A waking minute pointed to end quote
Squeeze left in diamond-beaded industry
Wedgeful elaborations desist
Shut behind us without saying
White lights from the powder-keg days
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