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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
Chasing the Chalice, by Laura Charlotte Berlin, is a chapbook that entices you into a dream filled with happiness, sorrow, and mischief. Each poem seems to open a rift between reality and fiction. The words invite you to stay for a while, however long you’ve been gone. But despite that, there is still an anchor, a guiding voice that allows you to come back when you’re finished with each poem. From the permanence of existence, to the sorrowful hope that the truth is out in the world somewhere, it’s as if Berlin herself is reading these poems to you, endeavoring to lead you through the harsh lessons she’s had to learn on her own.
The book reminds me of a festival in the Fairy Courts, or a chaotic feast dedicated to Bacchus. One of my favorite sayings came from a poem that described becoming obsessed with these dreams. It was similar to the way one would nurse their addiction to drugs, or even alcohol. To live in a world filled with lies, or wallow in sweet nothingness; in fact, I’ve felt this pull many times, as have many literature lovers. But, regardless, we still must walk the boundary between slumber and wakefulness, all the while ignoring the siren call of our own dark illusions. It’s an enchanting quality that allows the chapbook to show you just what the other poems in the book are about. While balancing out the elements between realism and fantasy, Berlin weaves an insightful book of poetry that leaves you longing for more. Thus, I would recommend this book to fans of poetry in general.