Cynthia Jobin’s poetry is honest, piercingly intelligent and intensely moving. Her posthumous collection, Song of Paper, showcases the poems she was writing at the height of her powers.
They include her meditations on love, loss, grief and the inescapable imperative to face her own impending death.
The work of this exceptionally gifted New England poet is both accessible and thought-provoking; the poems repay reading and re-reading. No wonder she eventually gathered a worldwide following of admirers who felt her poetry spoke directly to them.
These poems celebrate the joys of life too, here you will find humour, acute observations of pets and animals, evocations of home, and playful experimentation with poetic form.
John Looker, whose collection The Human Hive, was published by Bennison Books, wrote the introduction to Song of Paper. Here’s an extract:
Cynthia Jobin’s poetry is skilfully crafted and both erudite and accessible. She wrote about the mysteries of life, her grief following the death of her partner of 43 years, love and friendship, the joy of pets and the landscape of New England. She also translated French poetry. There was a depth of feeling and an unobtrusive intellect at work, but equally a lightness of touch and humour.
I am sure that new readers and old friends alike will discover this for themselves on reading this collection. The title, Song of Paper, comes from the opening poem and feels so apposite. The closing poem, which was also the last she ever posted in life, and which shows humour even in the midst of wisdom and courage, is an immensely moving reflection from someone who knew herself to be very close to death.