English Nettles brings together for the first time poems Peter Robinson began writing on his return to England after many years living in Japan. These twenty-two new works, evocatively illustrated by the artist Sally Castle, show Robinson’s ability to catch at fleeting landscapes and moments as he reacquaints himself with his native land and casts a newcomer’s eye on the town of Reading to which he moved in April 2007. Running through their lines like twin arteries are oblique reflections upon the meanings of home, the nature of money, work, love, death and parenthood both in and at particular times and places. Articulated with his characteristic deployments of a finessed metrical significance, these poems begin a new chapter in the poet’s dedication to catching the sense of what it means to be alive now. Approachable yet inexhaustible, Peter Robinson’s poetry welcomes readers and promises them rewards that can be kept.
‘Peter Robinson has published a beautifully produced collaborative book with artist Sally Castle, English Nettles and Other Poems, Two Rivers Press, 2010. The poems and paintings treat various places in and around the English city of Reading, of which Sally Castle is a native and Peter Robinson moved in 2007 after a long period of residence in Japan. The poems and watercolours with elements of collage work extremely well together, and the illustrations—one side of a complex dialogue really—are extremely well produced.’
~ John Matthias, Notre Dame Review (Indiana)
‘vivid and truly memorable observation’ ~ Poetry London
‘multi-layered treatment of landscape, memory and language’
‘Shakespearian turn of phrase… subtle sound mimesis …
unconventional rhythmical virtuosity’ ~Jackett