NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
JOE M RUGGIER: THIS ETERNAL HUBBUB
Multicultural Books
307 - 6311 Gilbert Road
Richmond
BC
V7C 3V7
Canada
ISBN 0 9733301 4 7
US$36.95 [20]

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JOE M RUGGIER: THIS ETERNAL HUBBUB

This is a substantial A5 book of 275 pages. It has an interesting and skilful sketch on the front cover, by Virginal Quental.

Settled in afternoons of hot weather I read this book several times and still do not know what to make of it. The writing is fussy, ad hoc and sprawling, as the title suggests. This is not succinct, laconic writing. Ruggier describes his book as:

. . . unique for its achievement with real rhyme-revival, real neo-classicist revival, its attempt to make the Papacy a work of art, and its fresh and scientific treatment of the substance poetry and the Gospels, art and revealed religion, Faith and world culture.
It reminds me of the work of the British experimental poets of the last decade and certainly seems to have been influenced by experimental works. There is a wide range of writing from prosy rants to well-thought out verse pieces, anecdotes and stories. It contains memoirs, personal accounts of the author, and philosophical and spiritual observations, mixed in with playful aspects of syntax. You will not find any resolved themes and tight conclusions here. It is paradoxical and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. I found the quotes interesting. It would have helped if they had been page referenced clearly because they are fun. However, there is an index and this is very helpful. Shall we dare look at a sonnet?
	The chapel folded up among the trees
	  stood open.  Winds rushed like children round the steeple.
	The metal windmills creaked.  Transported Peace
	  sighed on the leaves, drawn out from a unified people.
	Brains are the whirlpools, whirlwinds were the hymns;
	  the voice of the nameless, pride and soul of the millions!
	We clip high dreams.  Their true illusion dims,
	  and dips like a headlight.  But stars in their billions
	still heave like a wave of the sea and over the hills;
	  and far away is long ago!  The dusk
	subdues the nuclear tone, which all but chills
	  Man's withering dreams but for the priest-like task!
	    Set down out of blue nothing rhymes unheard!
	    Redeem the time!  but sexless, Man's absurd!
This was sonnet 4 and it is given in full because the sense is debatable. It is one in a sequence of sonnets. This book is in its third reprint and contains work by Ruggier written over the last couple of decades.

Reviewer: Doreen King.