Valdosta Daily Times
Valdosta Daily Times
January 10, 2012
Valdosta poet publishes book
The Valdosta Daily Times
VALDOSTA ? Like many poets, Phillip Berrian is a seeker.
He seeks truths from the world and the spirit. He looks for meaning in all things great and small.
In his poem, ?The Call Me a Nomad,? Berrian expresses in a few well-constructed lines his journey of perseverance which has helped him through life ?but with God?s love and anointing on my life, I can surely show people time and time again, that I can reach the stars any day or night.?
In his new book, ?The Testimony of Greatness,? the award-winning Berrian explores themes of love and loss, spirit and redemption. He uses relevant Bible passages to open poems.
Berrian was born in New York City, one of 10 siblings. His parents are Pastor Mary L. Berrian and the late Charles Berrian. Living in Valdosta, he is a Valdosta State University student.
Poetry defines his life.
?To me, poetry was a spiritual and God-given gift,? Berrian notes. ?... The stories, messages and the meaningful concept in this book is mostly about overcoming challenges, obstacles, and giving God all of the well-deserved glory and the highest praise ...?
The Times conducted an email interview with Berrian.
THE TIMES: Are the poems collected in ?The Testimony of Greatness? recent or do they represent a sampling of your work from years past to the present?
PHILLIP BERRIAN: ?To answer this question, it?s a collaboration of both old and new and, yes, my work is for sure the sampling from both the past and the present.?
THE TIMES: What inspired you to start writing poetry? What continues to inspire you?
PHILLIP BERRIAN: ?What inspired me to write poetry, beside the Lord Jesus Christ because only through him is (there) glory, but life as a whole. Because life itself is the greatest teacher meaning it does not give you answers of why and how things occur or happened, but it allows you to think and be aware of everything that goes on around you. And what continues to inspire me to write is yet again having the passion and the gift for it as well as being taught every day by life challenges and journey. Because life as we all know is filled with so many unexpected expectations, and like the character of Forrest Gump who made it perfectly (clear) when he said, that life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get. And as life being the greatest teacher you go as you learn.?
THE TIMES: Many of your poems open with Bible verses. Does the verse inspire the poem? Or do you use a relevant biblical passage once the poem has been written?
PHILLIP BERRIAN: ?Yes, it does because the biblical passage opens up to the readers of what the poem itself is truly all about and, does it inspire the poem itself, yes it does. And do I use relevant biblical passages once my poem has been written occasionally ... it really depends on the content and the title of the poem.?
THE TIMES: What is the importance of poetry in your life? How do you think poems can affect readers? lives?
PHILLIP BERRIAN: ?The important poetry in my life is the poem which I wrote called ?They Call Me A Nomad? and what a nomad is are a group of people who are constantly moving from place to place, and they continue to stumble across many obstacles, but like a group of ants, they constantly press on. ... We are all like nomads. ... The way that poems can affect other people, it really depends on the concept, the mood and the expression, giving them something that they can relate to.?
THE TIMES: Your poetry sounds like it would be as enjoyable to hear as it is to read it, do you ever give public readings of your poems?
PHILLIP BERRIAN: ?No, I am more of a writer who allows those who enjoy poetry a chance to not only read what is written, but to allow them to think as well as see the vision which is being presented to them. I just like providing the material not reading it, because I know what it means, but I try to allow other readers to read the poem for themselves, to get a clear picture and understanding of what the author?s points of views are.?