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If The Night Had Wings Paperback – July 19, 2012
From the Back Cover
"In art, we search for recognition; recognition of what we know, what we feel, what we believe to be true. When we find such recognition, the art becomes part, of who we are - a friend, a kindred spirit, a companion in the best and worst of times.
In a painting, it's the visual to which we respond. Perhaps an image on a canvas connects us to a life experience preserved in memory. In music, it's one note or the collective arrangement of notes, and of sound that triggers memory. In literature, it is the most direct form of communication - the spoken word - the word written on a page that speaks aloud to us, making us feel less alone.
Within the realm of literature, there is poetry. For me, poetry is the most demanding form in literature because its ability to communicate to the reader is dependent upon choosing exactly the right words when the form itself restricts the number of words from which to choose. The best poetry is a mainline to the very spirit and soul of the reader, and there are few poets whose command of the form equals the profundity of what it is they want to communicate. Such poetry is rare, but when you see it, you recognize it instantly, and it becomes a light that forever illuminates the dark, a constant companion, and a place you can inhabit simply by turning a page. Such poetry can be found in If The Night Had Wings, a new collection by Debbie Berk. In simplest terms, it's a collection of the right words arranged in just the right way." Tim Frueh,
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Berk's poetry knows the cost of secrets kept, like the lone, forlorn images of Last Train To Nowhere where a load of past baggage leads the speaker in hopeless, searching circles. Her title poem voices the gasps of a woman who is haunted by forlorn memories, the specters of love, left desperately alone and longing to take flight and bridge the map with wings hewn from the night sky to fly to her lover's side. The book resonates with the ache of the poet's soul in its dream-searching lines and catapults the reader into a haunting and beautiful tableau creating an intimate portrait of woman in darkness and in light, in despair and hope.
Berk also examines those subjects on the flip side of darkness, ones that rescue the reader from her specter-populated poems of midnight by offering several that shimmer with a hope filled and loving quality toward the conclusion of the book. In Your Eyes is one of these. It is about a woman who has experienced a lasting love that has endured and grown into something more beautiful with time and care. From this moment on, as Berk reaches for something more real and awakening, her love for family and home is expressed exquisitely as she looks with pride upon her daughter who is getting married and with love for her father who has passed on. These two poems are especially moving: For Amber and Like Yesterday, Today.
As with the passage of the night and the advent of the dawn, the reader realizes that If the Night Had Wings is a wonderful journey where Berk's words bestow us with the haunting impressions of her dark imaginative verse and also with the beauty of her life messages like leaves clinging to the branches of a lovely dusk enshrouded tree, never to be forgotten.
- Aaron Kubacak