Empathy

Empathy

Mei Mei Berssenbrugge

What can one person know of another? These poems act as energy fields of images from science, philosophy, and romantic love. They evoke the spaces of the New Mexican desert, the Alaskan tundra, her Chinese home, and the interior self in relationships, as the poet makes empathy a metaphor for the space of one person inside another. The lines of verse are long, sensuous, and prose-like, following the open horizons of the West.

"Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's poetry moves from "inner" phenomena to ones coming from the "external" world and back again with breathtaking evenness. Calmly and convincingly she leads our attention from.... confidence or passion or attention itself to ice crystals, gulls fireworks, or apple trees and to very specific qualities of perception, especially vision- most notably, those associated with the properties of light- fogginess, brightness, colors- (what a poet of light she is!)- in poetry that always speaks equally about "the world" and "herself." She is neither "objectivist" nor "subjectivist" but a poet of the whole consciousness. A virtuoso of the long line, hers- unlike those of most other poets- are startlingly non-rhapsodic, although they are more truly emotional than those of most rhapsodists. I've known and loved Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's poetry for years. It gets better all the time." -Jackson Mac Low

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