Robinson, Peter

Peter Robinson - The Look of Goodbye


Peter Robinson - The Look of Goodbye

Paperback, 140pp, 8.5x5.5ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

The Look of Goodbye contains Peter Robinson's poetry from his last half dozen years living and working in Sendai and Kyoto. Difficulties associated with having your heart in Europe and your life in Japan are explored across the shadowy terrains of a world grown decidedly more at risk, dangerous, and violent. The stays of love, friendship, family, place, and memory are tested by death, loss, and displacement; yet Robinson's poetry celebrates all that it can by means of the poet's rhythm, formal dexterity, and his eye for the energised processes of landscape and atmosphere. Composed at the same time as their author began to write and publish aphorisms, these poems show Robinson extending his range of subjects and developing the fresh directness with which he treats them. While bidding farewell to his Japanese years, The Look of Goodbye is as welcoming of readers, new and returning, as ever.


From The Salt Companion to Peter Robinson (2006) —

"Thus the life-events don't provide the driving force for the poem; rather they make up the terrain, a varied surface across which the poet travels, living his life but always exercising a strong disposition to make poems from somewhere close to everyday events. It's as if he carries a listening device, alert for the moments when the tectonic plates of mental experience slide quietly one beneath another to create paradoxes and complexities that call for poems to be made. These are not the ordinary urgencies of autobiography, but they are the urgencies of new creations." —Roy Fisher

"The poem as point of change, as a mechanism for changing the mind as one changes tracks or gears — this might be the real point to the arts of peace in an age of mechanical, clanking extraction. And it may point the way to a true post-Cold War in the mind, free from the reek and rustle of evil done to others. If this is the case, it can only be, Robinson would insist, if readers are ready to imagine this through. This is not a reticent or elusive invitation — but a powerful summoning of compassion, made in some of the most courageous poetry written in English." —Adam Piette

"I have characterised these poems as artisanal, ecological, and diffident. In the end these are analogies for an experience of reading that incorporates its own potential loss. Poems that incorporate this possibility in their form have an astonishing, understated power. These poems and their readers, making each other, are proving friendship, with all the ambivalence and commitment that this implies." —Katy Price

Read a review in Jacket here.


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