Dear Rosemary Dobson,
I caught your interview on the ABC today purely by coincidence. I had read some of your poems before, but only really in passing, and I had never given them much thought. Today, though, within about 5 seconds you gave me reason to pause, and from the outset you had my full attention.
You were talking about your collection of poems, ‘Untold Lives’. You said that every person on earth had poetry in them, and that even house wives with husbands who beat them and oppressed them had a story to tell and poetry inside of them. You said there was more beauty in every day life than most people could see and a poet is always trying to find different ways to explain and present this. You also said writing poetry is ‘a doomed but urgent wish to express the inexpressible’. I think a lot of life is like this. At least, mine is. I’m not a poet, or even a writer, but when I heard you say that I just wanted to scream out YES.
The thing that got me more than anything else though, was what you said about losing friends. You said you wrote about the people around you in your life, and you tried to project your reality of the people that they are, and that sometimes because of that you lost friends. You spoke about people moving into and out of your life. You looked so sad when you said that – you paused and in that split second the weight of your life experience was so visible in your eyes.
This week I am going to find a copy of ‘Untold Lives’ and I am going to become more familiar with your poems. Today all I wanted to do was get you in a room and drill you with questions and talk to you about your life and what you’ve learnt. I wanted an opportunity to soak up your life experience and learn everything that I could from you.
I have an enormous amount of respect for you and your work – I’m a little slow to realise the genius, but you have a new fan.