Rosemary Dobson Poems

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Rosemary Dobson
Rosemary de Brissac Dobson (b. 18 June 1920) is an award winning Australian poet, who is also significant as an illustrator, editor and anthologist.She has published fourteen volumes of poetry, has been published in almost every annual volume of Australian Poetry and has been translated into French and other languages. The Judges of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards in 1996 described her significance as follows: "The level of originality and strength of Rosemary's poetry cannot be underestimated, nor can the contribution she has made to Australian literature. Her literary achievements, especially her poetry, are a testament to her talent and dedication to her art." Rosemary Dobson was born in Sydney, the second daughter of English-born A.A.G. (Arthur) Dobson and Marjorie (nee Caldwell). Her father's father was Austin Dobson a poet and essayist. Her father died when she was five years old. She attended the prestigious Frensham School where her mother obtained work as a housemistress. Here she met Australian children's author, Joan Phipson, who had been asked to set up a printing press. She stayed on, after completion of her studies, as an apprentice teacher of art and art history. When she turned 21, Dobson attended the University of Sydney as a non-degree student. She also studied design with Australian artist, Thea Proctor. She worked as an editor and reader for the publisher Angus and Robertson with Beatrice Davis and Nan McDonald. She married the publisher Alec Bolton (1926-1996), whom she met while working at Angus and Robertson, in Sydney, and they had three children. During these Sydney years she became well-acquainted with other writers and artists, such as poet Douglas Stewart and his artist wife, Margaret Coen, writer and artist Norman Lindsay, Kenneth Slessor, and James McAuley. They lived in London from 1966 to 1971, during which she travelled widely in Europe and cemented her lifelong interest in art. The Boltons moved to Canberra in 1971 where Alec Bolton set up the Publications area of the National Library of Australia. In Canberra they were friendly with David Campbell, A. D. Hope, R. F. Brissenden and Dorothy Green. As time wore on, her local circle explanded to include younger writers such as Alan Gould and Geoff Page. Her older sister, Ruth, became Australia's first woman career diplomat Ambassador.

a fine thing
To be a scarecrow
To lean all day in a bright field
With a hat full
Of bird's song... [read poem]
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