Robyn Rowland: Seasons of Doubt & Burning

Reviewed by
February 2011, no. 328

Robyn Rowland: Seasons of Doubt & Burning

Reviewed by
February 2011, no. 328

‘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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