A lifetime of poems from Rosemary Dobson

Susan Sheridan


by Rosemary Dobson

University of Queensland Press, $27.95 pb, 378 pp, 9780702239113


This volume contains all the poems that Rosemary Dobson wants to preserve. They represent a substantial portion of her output, which seems right for a poet who began with a degree of quiet confidence and poise that belied her youth. From the earliest, published when she was in her twenties, to the latest, dictated only last year by the ninety-year-old poet to her daughter, the poems attest to the consistency of her achievement, and to the depth and range of her craft. Like their creator, the poems have aged well. The qualities she prizes – clarity, even austerity, and ‘an edge of wit’ – are there from first to last, impervious to changes of fashion and able to accommodate changes in sensibility. ‘In a Convex Mirror’, the title poem of her first book, begins:

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