Monday, September 06, 2010

Review of RENEWAL by Diana Kwiatkowski Rubin

Review of RENEWAL by Diana Kwiatkowski Rubin, 123 pages, 2010, Xlibris Corporation,, paperback, $15.99, trade hardback, 24.99, eBook, $9.99

By Barbara Bialick

Diana Kwiatkowski Rubin’s voice in RENEWAL, comes forth as mature, spiritual and rhythmic. Rubin, who comes from Edison, New Jersey, has published in a number of journals, five books of poetry, two books of stories, a cookbook, and a children’s book. Two of her poems were winning entries in the 14th Annual New Jersey Wordsmith contest. But her Xlibris marketing service calls the book “a literary masterpiece that touches on sundry themes.” That is terrible marketing that made me want to dismiss the whole book. But I did find some lines that showed the spark of poetry.

One of the better poems was “Caribbean Ghost Ship,” which begins: “Terrified, for several days/after volcanic eruption,/molten lava,/she clung desperately to life…soon arrived a rainbow of visitors,/a green parrotfish awakened/from its protective cocoon…”
As she often does, she ends the poem with a spiritual slant, “Her sunken bulkhead, setting her free/to start over anew in spirit.”

The two winning poems were “The Waves At Wildwood Crest” and “Swamp Vision.” The first is a short poem, that is similar to her many Haiku entries, which she does pretty well. She writes, “Bold, sienna sunset/to her astonishment/my daughter swims/with dolphins swirling…her clandestine dream/unfolding…”

“Swamp Vision” is a good example of melodic rhythm: “White ducks waddle/across the frozen pond/…One, two, three four…January’s fabulous parade.” But it is a bit too reminiscent of the famous children’s book, “Make Way for Ducklings.”

“Summer Haiku”, which consists of four haikus, is a little more original, and begins: “The sweet taste of pear/combats the blistering sun/late summer delight.” Its third haiku reads: “Bold red ladybug/dotted upon a soft fern--/wonder to behold.”

But that about ends the wonder.

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