Review of This Eternal Hubbub by Joe Ruggier
Review by Laurel Johnson
Date: Monday, 14 March, 2005
This Eternal Hubbub
by Joe M. Ruggier
275 pages at $36.95 trade paperback
Richmond Gardens, 307 Birchwood Court
6311 Gilbert Rd.
Richmond BC, V7C3V7
Joe M. Ruggier is an internationally recognized writer, poet, and scholar, born in Malta and now living in Canada. This Eternal Hubbub is the third revision of a work that's been in process twenty years. My overall impression of this work is that it is reminiscent of beautifully conceived classical tomes predating the 18th and 19th centuries. It has been written and printed with a loving and precise attention to detail. The careful choice of fonts and color art reproductions add depth to Ruggier's poetry and prose.
The poets of antiquity believed poetry and poetic prose were acts of intelligent, dedicated service to humanity. Ruggier carries on in that tradition with his skillful blending of classical poetry and commentary. He believes poetry is most potent when it treats a universal theme with genuine dignity. The greatest and most memorable classic works were written with love. For example, he states that biblical scriptures have tremendous impact and yet are written with eloquent simplicity.
The author proposes that Art is a basic human need, one often lost in the hubbub of modern society. Before technology, humankind could see and hear the poetry of existence in the world around them. Today, humans are lost and floundering, isolated from beauty and peace by war and the pursuit of money. Ruggier contends that humans can regain their humanity and focus through the Arts -- the classical poetry and prose, paintings and music of the Masters. The reading and writing of poetry, for example, is a peaceful pursuit that helps us rediscover wonder. In a stunning and thought-provoking comparison, Ruggier states that Jesus of Nazareth was an effective Artist because he restored humanity's lost dignity. Jesus Christ was a world-class artist, sharing his philosophy of love as every Artist has throughout time. In this way, upheld as the epitome of excellence through the purity of his message, Jesus joins the ranks of Shakespeare, Beethoven, Tennyson, Keats, and other classical Artists.
It's not possible to adequately condense this fine book into a review. I'll simply say that Ruggier demonstrates an astounding range as poet, essayist, and wordsmith. This Eternal Hubbub is a scholarly work, complete with informative and enlightening footnotes. The author writes from the perspective of an Artist and lifelong Catholic. And yet he brings a valid message to readers of any age, religious practice, or level of education.
Review by Laurel Johnson