Cherished Purposes... Poems of Loss and Hope 

Volume 1
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  Volume 3
  Volume 4
  Martyr for Desire

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Dr. Berman's Personal thoughts and Poems


"By making us stop for a moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other." Rita Dove
"Each for himself gathered up  the cherished purposes of life; 
its aims and ambitions;  its dearest affections;  
And flung all with life itself the scale of battle."  Anonymous  

Our cries are muted weepings of despair as the child so longed for is not born, or is not born alive, or cannot be conceived. Pained by these losses, our lives seem devoid of hope. Yet we prevail, for within each of us is a timeless, enduring spark of divine hope, a uniquely human greatness that permits us to challenge adversity and courageously face the unexplainable suffering of our souls and bodies. To realize the existence of this divine hope is a most cherished purpose, for with it our lives have promise and reason. Infertility, pregnancy loss, neonatal illness and subsequent death, are among the most painful losses we can experience, for they deny us a family and leave sightless our vision for immortality through generations of the future. Moreover, a child not to be born is likewise denied the delight to revel in the simple beauty and endless wonder of this divine hope.    

My entire professional career has involved a striving to bring comfort and healing to children, born and yet to born, and to mothers through their years of childbearing and beyond. It has been the cause in my life. I have been uplifted by the triumphs of birth and healing and depressed by the failures. Yet I have always tried to look beyond the failures in search of the triumphs. This volume is about this search. It is an uninhibited expression of my encounters with the emotions and the mystical spirit of my participation in the processes of birth, of life, and of death. It is a testimony of my hopeful optimism that I have shared and encountered with my patients through the years, as I have lived and breathed my role of physician.    

These poems have been written for children, mothers, fathers, and friends with whom I have shared a part of their lives, or they, a part of mine. I have given or sent these poems to them or their families, and when appropriate have recited them as eulogies at their funerals. The notes include brief summaries of the inspirations for many of the poems. The others are simply defined by their title.    

Through the years, it has been my catharsis to write about my patient's angst and fortunes and to include them in a volume such as this serves to recognize the painful voids in their lives, and to honor the triumphs of their victories. Also included are poems that offer a more global insight into my personal struggles with issues of life's hope and defeats.    

Michael R. Berman   
New Haven, Connecticut