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I'm filled with admiration for what you've achieved, and particularly for the hard work and the 'cottage industry' aspect of it.
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Across unemptied ashtrays and the minute pause
between clicks on an answerphone, there rises
the wish to avoid being drawn, just suppose,
into another of so many lost causes,
for there is a mist on the marshalling yards
and though a yucca, the happiness plant,
its top sealed with a red solution,
has forced up arms, like Daphne's, at its sides,
the burden of the air still refuses to lift.
from 'The Happiness Plant'
Peter Robinson's first collection, Overdrawn Account (Many Press, 1980) prompted Eric Griffiths to describe him in the PN Review as 'in my judgement the finest poet of his generation'. His first Carcanet collection, which won the Cheltenham Prize for 1988, was described by Martin Dodsworth in the Guardian as 'a major event'.
This selection from a quarter century's work shows why, as Adam Piette wrote in The Reader, 'Robinson is the finest poet alive when it comes to the probing of shifts in atmosphere, momentary changes in the weather of mind, each poem an astonishingly finely-tuned gauge for recording the pressures and processes that generate lived occasions.' Selected Poems draws on his four mature books of poetry, adding a group of early poems and a section of new work.
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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