This sampling of poems from Swithering by Robin Robertson is hand-set in 12D Dante, designed by Giovanni Mardersteig, and Michelangelo, designed by Hermann Zapf. It is printed in an edition of one hundred copies on paper from the Cartiere Magnani in Pescia, Italy, by Hans van Eijk at the Bonnefant Press, Banholt, The Netherlands, for House of Anansi Press. The pages are bound, and the cover is removable.
To swither means to suffer indecision or doubt, but there is no faltering in these poems. There is no uncertainty in line or sound or image, only in the themes of flux and change and transformation that thread through this powerful third collection. Robin Robertson has written a book of remarkable cohesion and range that calls on his knowledge of folklore and myth to fuse the old with the new. From raw, exposed poems about the end of childhood to erotically charged lyrics about the ends of desire, from a brilliant retelling of the metamorphosis and death of Actaeon to the final freeing of the waters in Holding Proteus, these poems are bright epiphanies of passion and loss.