Carol Berg’s poems are forthcoming or in DMQ Review, Sou’wester, The Journal, Spillway, Redactions, Radar Poetry, Verse Wisconsin, and in the anthologiesA Face To Meet The Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems and Bigger Than They Appear: An Anthology of Very Small Poems. Her chapbook, Her Vena Amoris (Red Bird Chapbooks), is available and her other chapbooks, Ophelia Unraveling and The Ornithologist Poems are available from Dancing Girl Press. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes. She was a recipient of a finalist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Her Vena Amoris
Traditional belief held the Vena Amoris, or Love Vein, ran directly from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart. Thus, engagement and wedding rings were placed on the “ring finger.” Carol Berg traces the trajectory of yearning, to fulfillment, to disillusion in a collection of poems that often read more like mythology or fable than one woman’s journey in and through a relationship. The language is lush in image and metaphor and when Berg writes, “When I opened myself/ I would fall/ in love with my wings that move in the air like prayer,” we find our selves falling with her.
The Wife Pacing in a Dangerous Anger
I'm wavering inside the dream where I divorce you in India.
It will all work out, the cut daffodil stems say,
speaking in their green language. Dead leaves scrape
against the kitchen window. Frantic birds. It is an expensive
noon. Cold sweeps around my shoulders like its listening to my
tattered worries. I want to hide this day inside my homemade
bread. The vacuum cleaner is waiting impatiently for the shatter.
The word of the day is unraveling. I don't care anymore and run
off into the metallic woods. My footsteps just clear enough to be dangerous.
What others are saying...
Review by Kathleen Kirk, Poetry Editor
Carol Berg’s newest chapbook, Her Vena Amoris, goes after all the yearning, resentment, risk, confusion, frustration, and powerful love it takes to be a woman and a wife. Its organization lays it out for us beautifully: Part I contains all Woman poems, Part II is a single poem, “To the Word Wife,” and Part III is all Wife poems. The “word” poem is a good bridge, or, to use a central image from the book, a crucial vein, carrying life’s blood between sections—blue blood that turns red exposed to air!
Read the full review here.
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