Backyard Cosmos: Robin Loftus 2000 (Poetry) (2000)

by Margaret on June 19, 2000

‘BACKYARD COSMOS: Robin Loftus 2000 (Poetry) (2000)
ISBN 0 9577330 2 X

Robin Loftus, a much valued psychotherapist at the University of Newcastle, has published her poems widely in Australian periodicals and newspapers, and in 1992 published her only previous collection of poems, Flying Fish . A few poems from that collection are shrewdly placed as thematic keys among this new harvest of poems. Jean Kent says,

In poems of exhilarating clarity and generosity, Robin Loftus invites us into an intensely experienced world. Her backyard cosmos is radiant with the joys and griefs of everyday contemporary life.

There are poems of social and cultural observation, tart with irony, and poems of memory and family illuminated by images of flight, birdsong and landscape. The reader is led to relish the details of life in the backyard of the individual body, and to exult in the mind’s outreach on the cosmic scale. In Norman Talbot’s words,

Even mourning and elegy become fruitful experience. Gravely or gaily, subtly or directly, Robin Loftus’ poetry is celebration.

The poet says she lives ‘on the edge of the continent, overlooking the Pacific Ocean’, but in this vast perspective she is encouraged to get right the detail of her life and what’s growing in the backyard.

This book’s cover was designed by the poet’s husband, Pat Loftus, with a suitably cosmic theme. The book was launched at the Newcastle Public Library in October 2000, and readings for Poetry at the Pub and other audiences followed.

72 pages, r.r.p. $5.95

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