Suddenly Today We Can Dream

Poems by Rutha Rosen
2003. 61 pages. $10.

Spuyten Duyvil
PO Box 1852
Cathedral Station
NYC 10025

I give the three ways above of contacting the publisher, because this book of poems is not going to be easy to find, if you should want it, in the ruckus of the marketplace.

There is not a poem in it that does not contain some poetry, although of course the poems are not all equal.

They are like the drywalls, found here and there in the world, where the considered shape and weight of each constituent stone contributes something to the walls so that no mortar is needed to keep them together. To make all but one of the poems, mostly short words are used. All the words are carefully measured for their sound and their place in each line, and each line for its sound and place in a stanza, and of course each stanza for its sound and place in its poem. The poems are in free verse, shortish, and unrhymed. The subject matter is varied and invariably of some depth in treatment.

If there were an Oxford Book of South African Verse (and yes, there is enough good South African verse to warrant one of 1000 pages), this South African poetess would be an imbelishment in it.

I give a poem below, not to represent the poems, which vary, but to give a taste of the depth of feeling inherent in them.

Total eclipse
the December moon
each one is thinking.

I wipe the shadow
mournful, perhaps only
once in a lifetime
but still we all know
if only to look up and gasp.

I want no more
from the moment
but the aura of light.

We have coffee to
remember our bodies.

Each one is thinking.
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