|Perverse Serenity||Robyn Rowland||Spinifex||1992|
This is a book-length narrative sequence on the love affair between the poet and a monk in an Irish monastery. It represents an unfinished love, a yearning that might also be interpreted as that sense of longing the exile feels for a homeland, one which will never be realised.
From Spinifex: What happens when an Australian feminist falls in love with an Irish monk? Robyn Rowland travelled to Ireland hoping to delve into her family’s history. She circles the country, driving its roads in search of something more. What she finds is risk, uncertainty, clarity and turbulence. Is this love wasted, dry and juiceless? Or is the tearing what love should be all about? In poems that soar and wreck themselves at the base of cliffs, Robyn Rowland takes us into a raw and exultant world.
From Robyn Rowland: Perverse Serenity was described by critic and poet Barrett Reid as drawn with rare honesty and a compelling strength of observation which involves the reader. He wrote: “here is writing not afraid to be vulnerable, not trapped in literary artifice, not reticent about emotion, its hopes, its fears, its withdrawals and assertions, which we all share and which enrich our humanity. A memorable picture emerges of a contemporary woman, intelligent and able to feel deeply, who is not afraid to feel the incompleteness, the unfinished edges of human love.”