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Selected Poems

Peter Robinson

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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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.
    Peter Robinson was born in 1953. He has taught in universities in Wales, Cambridge and Japan. From 1991 to 2005 he taught English Literature and English as a second language at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. In 2007 he became Professor of English and American literature at the University of Reading. ... read more
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