Far From the Temple of Heaven

Dale Ritterbusch is the author of Lessons Learned, a collection of poems on the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Currently he is Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of English & Fine Arts at the United States Air Force Academy. Otherwise he is Professor of Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Of Dale Ritterbusch’s first book of poems, Lessons Learned, I wrote: “These are poems of great power and marvelous sensibility, haunting and beautiful, alive with outrage and decency and a sadness deeper than dreams.” Ten years later, the publication of Far from the Temple of Heaven confirms and amplifies the truth of those words. In this new collection, Ritterbusch takes up where he left off and moves forward with confidence, clarity, and grace. In a world that ever seems to descend more deeply into the morass of human folly, his is a voice that saves me from utter despair.
— W. D. Ehrhart, author of The Madness of It All
This is a brilliant, stunningly beautiful book. Ritterbusch’s is a strong voice full of conviction and rich with the genuine earned irony of one who has been on a serious journey. Whether he is writing as a father, husband, lover, friend, soldier, athlete, profes- sor, or child, as I back away from these poems, as if I were backing away from a painting in a gallery, I run into something real— not a wall, not a disgruntled museum guard, not wet paint, but perspective. A fartherness which takes me inside, within, loom- ing, luminescent, invisible, and wisely saying—look again, step closer, touch, this is yours now, you are in possession of some- thing worth seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, touching and knowing. Dale Ritterbusch has achieved a truly personal account of an inner depth in which we might partake, limpid and pure, powerful and true.
— John B. Lee, author of Totally Unused Heart and The Farm on the Hill He Calls Home


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