Yes, Australia has lost two poets and it might look like carelessness to some. But we speak highly of them when they are gone.
Many of you will have already read bookmaker and artist Caren Florance's tribute to Rosemary Dobson, published a few days after her death in late June. It is very touching, and there is a link at the end to Jason Steger's obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Here is an obituary by poet David McCooey, in The Age.
David Malouf's review of her Collected Poems appeared in The Age on June 2:
Spare poems point to natural phenomena, ''a small storm, tethered in the garden'', and the lives of friends. Take, for example, this tender but wickedly observant picture of a dying Christina Stead:
I sit beside the bed where she lies dreaming
Of pyrrhic victories and sharp words said,
She will annihilate the hospital …
Suppose her smouldering thoughts break out in flame,
Not to consume bed, nightdress, flesh and hair
But the mind, the working and the making mind
That built these towers the world applauds …
I have dreamt her nightmare for her. She wakes up
And turns to smile with quick complicity.
''I wasn't asleep. I watched you sitting there.''
The poems in Collected offer something more than the usual record of a progression. To read them is to follow a quiet mind, but an acute one, through a writing life that over the decades is increasingly responsive to what is near at hand and to the oddness as well as the grandeur of things.
She is a poet I readily admit to having glossed over and I look forward to remedying that, quickly.