In It

Stephen Berg, Author, Berg, Author
Stephen Berg, Author, Berg, Author University of Illinois Press $11.95 (78p) ISBN 978-0-252-01235-8
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Berg, author of eight previous books of poetry, translator, teacher and anthologist, is also founder and co-editor of the American Poetry Review. His newest collection is an intensely moving personal testament to the anxiety of modern life. The poet represents himself as the archetypal lost soul and seeker, who no longer knows precisely what he is seeking: self? God? truth? love? inner peace? immortality? the meaning of life? Poem by poem, the quest is defined. The title poem suggests that his nearest answer to this question that transcends words resides in our sense of sheer rightness at being here: the irrational rage to live despite any- and everything. Freud would have used the terms eros and thanatos to describe Berg's major themes, but that is reduction; the book is amplification. Meaning, to paraphrase Berg, lurks behind or deeper in the text. A troubled book, it nonetheless ends in the reader's mind as a celebration of the inner life and of the courage it takes to admit the vicissitudes of one's own, most terrifying emotions. (June)
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