Publication date: 2001
Paperback / 67 pages
“Seeing what no one else has ever seen is part of the healing task for doctor and poet, and Valerie Berry’s eyes, heart, and words are skilled practitioners. Poems from her life in medicine refuse the temptation of medicine’s easy drama and lead us instead to gratitude and respect for the rigorous possibilities in these humane arts. Whether responding to a question from Rumi, a line from Neruda, or learning from Rodin’s fallen caryatids, Berry makes honest poems. . . . Variety, compassion, clarity of voice and vision mark this compelling first collection of sensitive responses to difficult and beautiful news, poems that help us appreciate our lives as we go on learning how to live them.” —Jeanne Lohmann, author of Granite Under Water and Flying Horses
Valerie Berry is a physician practicing community medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area. The images and themes in her poems are informed by her delight in the natural world, to which she brings an eye trained in clinical observation.
Her chapbook, this is how you learn what is enough, was published in a limited letterpress edition by Protean Press in 1994. difficult news is her first full-length book of poems.