For one year after its arrival in the United States the dismantled Statue of Liberty sat in 214 unopened crates on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. The poems in this book reflect the tension of this "pause" in many respects: the artist's motives in constructing the pieces; the fluidity of the molten ore; the workers' act of constructing, dismantling, and reassembling the statue; the anticipation embedded in the year on Bedloe's Island; the vulnerability of a singular message as it travels across an ocean and over time; and the context into which the statue is finally unveiled.Bergman's masterful narrative, told in lyric pieces, of the transportation, installation, and metaphorical presence of the Statue of Liberty serves not only as a paean to the work of her transporters but a meditation on her arrival in a land whose history she can hardly hope to accommodate. Tactile, descriptive, and wise, these poems recover part of our past while delivering us to a still-uncertain present.
Denise Bergman describes herself as "very much a city person"; her home is Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Originally a painter, she edited City River of Voices, a collection of Boston urban poetry, for West End Press in 1992. Her creative work includes Seeing Annie Sullivan, The Telling, and the poem Red, an excerpt from which is permanently installed as public art in Dana Park, Cambridge.