Ruby Duby Du (2014)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)

Books and Magazines in brief:

Elizabeth Smither. Ruby Duby Du. ISBN 978-0-473-26830-5. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014.

Elizabeth Smither: Ruby Duby Du (2014)

Well, we’ve had a lot of poems by mothers about their children: Joanna Paul’s Imogen is a particularly poignant example of a whole collection consecrated to mourning for a dead child; on a lighter note, Anna Jackson’s Elvira inspired a whole series of poems back in the nineties and early oughties. Elizabeth Smither’s new book Ruby Duby Du, though, contains the poems of a doting grandmother. At first sight this might seem a bit meretricious, but given that grandparents are so notoriously indulgent towards their offspring’s offspring, it’s interesting to see what Smither can do with this (alleged) genetic disposition:
Someone should applaud the cat for his restraint
the way he tolerates, observes, then plays

offering his tail while his furry face hides
his expression of distaste. [“Ruby and the cat’s tail,” p.30]

It seems that someone has. All this is very nicely observed. Its lack of grandiosity and pretentiousness is also greatly in its favour. A really charming little chapbook from Cold Hub Press in Lyttelton.


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 236.

[179 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 (2014)

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