Publications from New Hope International

COLIN ROBINSON: QUIGGINS AT THE CONFERENCE.
cover

Colin Robinson left a business career to become a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. He has had plays performed, a novel and several EFL books published. This is his first collection of poems.

ISBN 0 903610 29 9
Sample poem

quotes and extracts from reviews.
I do like the way you handle traditional forms and some of your experimentation is quite compelling. Michael Schmidt.
I want to read them again and several again and again. Anne Lewis-Smith.
Colin Robinson is at best tiptoeing round the awfulness of the corporate world. The protagonist of The Simulacrum is a man who has slipped through the net and is on the payroll of a firm without actually having a job. Every day he turns up at the office, pretends to be busy, and hides out in vacant meeting rooms or on the roof. In The Wanderer a husband betrayed by his wife for whom he double-glazed half Hertfordshire, wanders pointlessly around Europe, like an anti-Odysseus, shifting and drifting and awaiting the whirlpool. In the lovely and atypical A Witch Dancing a young girl flies magically through the air, twirling a skipping rope, with free-flowing hair and slow-trailing feet. Robinson uses traditional rhyme and metre, the better to point a joke, but don't write him off for being neat and funny. This collection is also serious, subtle, and terribly sad. I love it. iota (Tony Grist).
Colin Robinson's command of form is masterly and very much in evidence in the intelligent, carefully crafted poems in this collection. The author's stance is that of the sane ingenu contemplating an insane universe... This is a poet who deserves a wider readership. The Frogmore Papers (Jeremy Page).
... well-honed images, ... attention to the details of craft ... a great line "Horseless and errant in this gloomy wood,/ I hump my rusty gear... " (The Enchanted Wood) The Burning Bush (Michael Begnal).
I liked the cleverness of the rhyme ... the writing is assured and confident. Pulsar (Lachlan Robertson).
The title poem is the best way to sample the rapid inter-weaving of humour and wisdom that holds together this excellent collection. Like Robert Browning, Robinson entertains through the many-layered, colloquial stories of his narrators. Any Other Business develops the hypocritical bluster of a tour executive, briefly diverted by conscience:
   We'll guarantee half the money goes to Oxfam
   Or say a third or a fifth.
The poem is so well conceived that the triumph of expediency over guilt is as predictable as it is repellent. Robinson proves himself to be a crafty writer indeed. Rhyme schemes and familiar forms give further impact, rather than creating a series of straitjackets.
   He swallowed his contempt year after year;
   Now he can curse them they're not here to hear.
This conclusion to the villanelle, Retrospect, turns cleverly on the final line, encapsulating a confusion of regret and bitterness. Robinson's firmness of touch and clarity of purpose fills the collection. His voice is contemporary and accomplished, to be enjoyed and respected.
Links (Will Daunt).
Wryly amusing and belly-laugh-grade rhyming verse is hard to do, but Colin Robinson's first collection fits the bill, perfectly. Philosophical musings intersect, productively, with jaundiced and insightful or observational wraparound themes. Reflecting dolefully on life's many imponderables and hollow-worldview concerns, Robinson's uncommonly smart verse is accessible but always impressive, slickly critical without being glib ("I went outside and the sun slipped behind clouds/ As if to avoid me..." - Quiggins), a modest treasure house of poetic delights. Dragon's Breath (Tony Lee).
This is set out very much like the "Diary of a Nobody" with poems that decry their own inflated language (The Fallacious Pathos of Artefacts) and especially their own importance. "Most Urgent" should be taken heed of as the key to this world of poems about how to avoid doing business (or any kind of work). You'll approve of it wholeheartedly I can guarantee. A fun one for constant referral. Krax (Andy Robson).

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