‘Poetry can animate everything, so that life itself breathes through the line. It remembers passion. ... It can make us alive to something new or remembered. Coming out of the ordinary or the mystical, it calls us to ourselves; drawing into view the inner working relationships between the conscious and the unconscious; the passionate intensity of the feeling life as well as the corrugated pathways of thought. Using image to speak, it inspires awe at the way the poet can condense experience on the page.... Poetry can inform, renew, move, uncover understanding, create change’.
Robyn Rowland, ‘De-lyricising the lyric?’
Robyn Rowland’s poetry has always struck for the heart. Open and honest in its emotion, her work tries to capture the struggle of life lived on the edge of feeling. Valuing accessibility, her work has been described as ‘generous and passionate’ with a celebration of the ‘immediacy of experience’ and the ‘poignancy of happiness’. Following an Irish tradition of the narrative lyric, her work encompasses the moments in life for which we need words; words to act as rituals that hold us. Her themes include ‘the incompleteness, the unfinished edges of human love’ (Barrett Reid), death in its many forms; breast cancer and depression; language and silence; spiritual life.
Robyn values ‘a poetry of connection and communication’. Her second book, Fiery Waters contains some political poems, poems celebrating a love with a younger man, and a breast cancer sequence ‘The Great Way’. Two of her books have entered into the issues of exile and belonging as a third generation Irish Australian, a theme that emerged in her second book, Perverse Serenity (a narrative sequence of a love affair with an Irish monk) and continued in a newer form in Shadows at the Gate (after living in Ireland for some time).