Meredith Bergmann

Nursery Rhyme

Some years a single sentence comes--a freak--
but I saved everything you ever said
from those few early years when you could speak.
Beneath each crystal lens they can be read
and understood. I was a careful clerk.
I am the reliquary of your words.
They would make statues weep, but cannot work
the necessary miracle. Unheard,
unvoiced, untasted, charming phrases fade;
but copied out like prayers they gain the voice,
the lilt of poetry. And weren't they made
in flashes of imaginative choice?
One snowy afternoon when talk was cheap,
you said to me, "It's raining cats and sheep."

The Normal Child

Passover, 2008

He sometimes sits at dinner
(We place no extra chair)
In sullen teenage reverie
And you're not there.

His arms and legs are thinner
(We set no extra plate)
His favored mode is parody
For love, for hate.

But if you are the winner
(His face is not as fair)
You will not know his memory
Or his despair.

Perennial beginner
(You share our strongest trait)
We seek no guest as remedy
Who comes so late.


Meredith Bergmann is a sculptor currently working on the FDR Hope Memorial for Roosevelt Island, NYC. Her poems and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Contemporary Poetry Review, Hudson Review, Lavender Review, Light, Per Contra, The New Criterion, The Same, Umbrella and the anthology Hot Sonnets. A chapbook is forthcoming from EXOT Books. She is poetry editor of American Arts Quarterly (www.nccsc.net).


Melissa Balmain
Judith Barrington
Meredith Bergmann
Jane Blanchard
Cally Conan-Davies
Barbara Lydecker Crane
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Claudia Gary
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>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
32 Poems
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