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  Robert Adamson
Robert Adamson (b.1944) grew up in the Sydney suburb of Neutral Bay and spent some time in reform school and gaol in late adolescence and early adulthood. He became involved with the Sydney poetry
Robert Adamson
world in the late 1960s and for some years edited New Poetry magazine. His first book, Canticles on the Skin, was published in 1970, and he has gone on to publish more than a dozen further volumes. His poetry deals with his experiences in reform school and prison, the landscape of the Hawkesbury river north of Sydney where he has lived (and fished) for many years, his personal relationships, and his colleagues and mentors including the Sydney painter Brett Whiteley and poets Francis Webb, Michael Dransfield and Robert Duncan.

The Ravens: After Trakl

Robert Adamson

from The Goldfinches of Baghdad

(Chicago: Flood Editions, 2006)
The ravens launch themselves
into the air

dropping harsh calls as they
sail across midday;

their shadows follow them
along the glassy river—

you can see them at times
almost resting.

They rupture the silence
at twilight. At other times

their sound is like the stench
of drunks bickering over

carrion in the beer garden.
Look up into the spotted

gum tree: they fly off
like a funeral procession,

their caws small shudders
of rapture.

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