Written over a period of two decades, The Law of Poetry contains poems that pay personal tributes to ‘things’—broccoli, ducks and concrete—as well as poems that seek to physically enter the realm of abstract concepts —chance, kindness and explanations. Set out in alphabetical order—as if a dictionary of essences—each poem is titled ‘The Law of Something’, be that ‘The Law of Absolutes’, ‘The Law of the Child, Lost’ or ‘The Law of Rubber Gloves’. The reader is asked not to judge—as law stereotypically demands—but to engage with this very idiosyncratic world of the individual poet and to be injected, like the shrunken travellers in the 1966 classic, Fantastic Voyage, into the nervous system of another.
“I admit to never having read any of Cronin’s previously published work, despite having a reasonably healthy appetite for contemporary verse. I’ve always been wary of poems with ‘a message’ or which have a didactic element. For me the prettiness of the words, the liquidness of the cadence and the honesty of the introspection are what draw me back to particular poems. Which is why I’ve been a Walt Whitman tragic since adolescence. And I was pleased to discover that there is a Whitmanesque quality to the structure of some of the works in this volume, as well as some commonality of theme and motif. There’s an undeniable celebration of what it means to be an individual, both intellectually and morally, in these poems, the shorter ones in particular.”
NIGEL STOBBS, The Alternative Law Journal
“Stylistically, the poems would seem to be influenced by Spanish and French surrealism and owe more than a little to Jorge Luis Borges’ metaphysical free-thinking. Many of Cronin’s best are pithy, short aphorisms or insights. Others have a significant narrative dimension, reminiscent of a parable.”
GEOFF PAGE, Sydney Morning Herald