Robyn Rowland: Seasons of Doubt & Burning

‘Hope in flight’

Maria Takolander



Seasons of doubt & burning: New & Selected Poems
by Robyn Rowland
Five Islands Press, $29.95 pb, 226 pp, 9789734041609


Robyn Rowland writes what could be described as a traditionally feminine, aestheticised mode of lyric poetry. Rowland’s poetic landscape is one that shimmers with moonlight, in which one finds cherry blossom and exotic fruit, waterfalls and peacocks, and sensuality (if not sex), and in which the language is always pleasing. Perhaps it is my cultural background – coming from a dour nation of Finns – or the fact that I am a formworker’s daughter, but this world is not familiar to me. Indeed, it seems to belong to a particular tradition of lyric poetry, rather than to any reality. Nevertheless, there is honesty and poignancy in Rowland’s New and Selected Poems, which speak of lost relationships, childbirth, illness, the death of loved ones, and the various individuals and historical events that inspired her interest or hope.

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Published in February 2011 no. 328
Maria Takolander

Maria Takolander

Maria Takolander is an Associate Professor in Literary Studies and Professional and Creative Writing at Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria. She is the author of a book of short fiction, The Double (Text 2013); three books of poetry, The End of the World (Giramondo 2014), Ghostly Subjects (Salt 2009), and Narcissism (Whitmore Press 2005); and a book of literary criticism, Catching Butterflies: Bringing Magical Realism to Ground (Peter Lang 2009). Her poetry and fiction have been widely published and anthologised. She is the recipient of a 2014-2015 $40,000 Australia Council grant and is currently working on a novel for Text Publishing.

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