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Everything You Love Is New

Everything You Love Is New

By Ralph EarlePublisher: Redhawk PublicationsISBN: 978-1-959346-36-4Genre: PoetryPrice: 16.00
Available from: Redhawk Publications

Everything You Love is New delves into the intersection of social and personal issues, exploring a spectrum that includes a family crisis, subsequent healing, and celebrations of cherished people and moments that leave a lasting impact. The collection features poems that oscillate between indignation, reverence, and hope, all tempered by the wit inherent in life's unpredictable journey.

This marks Earle's first extended collection of poems, and he reflects on the process, stating, "It took several years to bring the poems into shape, embellishing the best, breathing new life into old poems, and culling those that didn't measure up." The evolution of the book's structure became apparent as Earle realized the need to exclude certain poems that didn't align with the overall theme, while others, centering on his spiritual practices, found their place. The resulting collection offers a comprehensive showcase of Earle's distinctive voice and multifaceted outlook.

After a childhood in Connecticut and Vermont, Ralph Earle has lived in the North Carolina Triangle since 1977. He holds a Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he taught poetry before founding a bookstore, then pursuing a career in technical communications. Currently, he designs websites for poets and other creative people. His poems have appeared in over 30
publications, and his collection The Way the Rain Works won the 2015 Sable Books Chapbook Award. He co-manages a monthly poetry reading in Chapel Hill and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


In this luminous collection, Ralph Earle contemplates his life and ours, as we “cross the darkness on a bridge of reed / between the ruin and the radiance.” In poems that dazzle with surprising metaphors, precise language and close observations of nature, Earle relates his journey as son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and seeker of the Absolute. “Life writes its stories on us,” he says, and narrates his with quiet lyricism. Early in his marriage, “days carried us weightless / as paper lanterns in the trees.” Later his wife’s mental illness worsens: “wheeling out of the blue sky / of what we expected….” His gaze is clear and compassionate. He considers violence, oppression and injustice, the climate calamity, and waits for America “to walk off a cliff / clutching its…red-white-and-blue / umbrella.” Even so, these shimmering poems invite us to regard every moment as “a lake / brimming with light.”

Janis Harrington, How to Cut a Woman in Half (Able Muse Press), Waiting for the Hurricane (St. Andrews University Press)

These poems are meditations composed of spiritual insights that emerge from Ralph Earle’s close observation of everyday events, the voices of those who’ve come before, and encounters with the strange and inexplicable nature of the world. Each poem is voiced with an innocent wisdom and subtle humor constructed from his personal fears, social-political perspectives, and reflections on the natural world… These poems are insightful, private and honest in their perspectives. As he writes in the last poem in the collection: “as we slowly take our leave of this world / so random and so transient, let us all be happy.” Earle’s passionate skill, quiet and intense, is an empathetic reach into the very heart of living.

Chapman Hood Frazier, The Lost Books of the Bestiary (V Press LC)

Ralph Earle’s poetry is like a breeze wafting through a screen door in spring, companionable, comforting, trusting and true. You can feel safe here with these poems, safe enough to leave your front door open and to let them come into your life, mind, and heart. They have so much to give: insight, humor, surprise, and delight. They are not without sadness, because after all that’s The Way the Rain Works, to borrow from Earle’s earlier chapbook, some of whose poems find a welcome second home here, because all of our experiences are carefully voiced in these poems. Having spent lovely hours, awake not asleep, with these poems, I too can say “Let Us All Be Happy” and mean it, not just for myself, not just for my companions on a train, but for everyone.