Rapturous Chronicles


72 pages
ISBN 0-920544-82-7
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Laurence Steven

Laurence Steven is Chairman of the English Department at Laurentian
University and author of Dissociation and Wholeness in Patrick White’s


This extended contemporary prose poem is a passionate revelation
inspired by the death of Fitzgerald’s close friend Juan Butler (a
promising Canadian writer). The poem involves a profound interplay among
language, recollection, and love. Her poetry captures the universal
feelings of mourning and loss, inviting readers to journey with her
through her personal disclosures toward a sense of freedom. Using
extensive word play and free-flowing verse, both given shape and
direction by the narrative elements of chronology and character,
Fitzgerald is able to create the experience of memory and reminiscence.
The reader is catapulted into the powerful emotions associated with loss
of a loved one: “Immense swallowing hangs / in the air, sentenced to
personal division, tables of multiplication. Maudlin / mathematical.
Refuge and constant refugee. I go blank with wanting you.” In the
final poem, “Zeliotropic,” the poet admits, “I tried to walk the
straight and narrow, to prove my / intoxication with desire did not
extend to mere / absence. Past, now. Over. . . . The way to bring a /
telegram up short : of breath, of the vise and grip of / death. Western
Union : So long, sayonara, good luck.”

Again, as with The Piaf Poems, Fitzgerald has woven her own creative
word play (with such inventions as “wom/b/an” and
“alpha[omega]bet”) into her prose poem and has demonstrated her fine
ability in developing character. One wonders what a Fitzgerald novel
would be like.


Fitzgerald, Judith., “Rapturous Chronicles,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/11970.