where the writers are
Love for Sale/American Book Review- of "But a Passage in Wilderness"
Published Work: 
Reviewer: 
Dimitrios Kalantzis
Source: 
The American Book Review:Volume 29, Number 5 http://americanbookreview.org/currentIssue.asp

From Dimitrios Kalantzis reviews Margo Berdeshevsky’s "But a Passage in Wilderness": ...the most arresting poem in the collection, "Best Love and Goodbye," written in March 2003, it is like an ear pressed to the endless sky listening for the harbinger of the war that has lasted nearly five years."There is no war yet.//Soon." The impending war makes the lines chillingly rhetorical..Throughout the global community alive in this book, men and women grieve for the loss of life, through the vulgarity of genocide as equally through growing old. In New York City, a soldier writes "love heals" on a sidewalk in chalk.Just as we read this, it begins to rain. It is vital, Berdeshevsky is saying throughout this book, that we are quick to notice such moments before they are erased, It is vital that we notice the rain (the eraser) and that the ultimate eraser is time. In this regard, Berdeshevsky reminds us of Carolyn Forché and the poetry she has written and embraced, most notably in her anthology of socially conscious poetry, "Against Forgetting" (1993.)

...This is a passage through sorrow, and despite her many calls to others, Berdeshevsky walks through it alone. She must leave candles behind like breadcrumbs to find her way back by their light that burns like "heartbeats." She crosses the wilderness both lost and perfectly aware. She describes ponies that "know the course, but cannot stretch their white downed spines/ to gallop, can't span the fathoms with kicked light." This is the image that best encapsulates Berdeshevsky as a poet. She is the strong light and guiding force that shines upon the unknown for us. She is also the beggar who pleads for us to do the same for her, when she is most lost and alone. She is the proud mystic who can cast spells to erase our suffering. But she is also the broken wife who is beaten and scared, who can do nothing but hold her sign: "For sale: love, hardly used." ...

"But a Passage in Wilderness" (Sheep Meadow Press, December/2007)