Concerto for Egg and Orchestra, 2005

‘Contemplative, playful, sardonic, lyrical… Paolo Totaro’s ‘Collected Poems (1950 – 2011)’ encompass a powerful engagement with the complexity of life and the profundity of death.’

Giulia Giuffrè

I’m getting immersed in your poems – I’ve started at the beginning, and I’m finding your words and thoughts and atmosphere like an ark I can sail in across this weather! Sometimes it gets mysteriously dark and then suddenly I feel illuminated, with lines like ‘electrons shyly vanish when observed, at one with angels disappearing’ – I love the way, with images, you express your theme or exploration – the meeting of science and god, evolution and creation…the questioning. (I just adore that SHY with an ELECTRON! So original, so dynamic, jolts you into seeing the world in a new way.) That’s what your poetry does to me…

Anna Fienberg

Among his many remarkable achievements Paolo Totaro has so far kept that of creative writing relatively hidden. The publication of his corpus of poetry is thus an eminently welcome integration to the few texts that he has published in the past and confirms and expands his status as a sensitive, original and innovative poet who exquisitely provides multilayered meanings not only to personal situations but also and more importantly to the existential condition of modern humankind, a condition that takes on particular significance through the experience of migration and settlement in a new and different country. This volume makes available to many the privilege so far enjoyed by the very few of reading Paolo’s opera omnia and provides a new and valuable contribution to a corpus of contemporary Australian literature that has been so enriched by the input of literary texts created by writers of non Angloceltic background. To this Paolo’s unique contribution is grounded in the vision of an intellectual whose literary production is informed not only by the extensive enrichment inherent in classical and contemporary Italian culture but also by an intrinsic, insightful and integrated assimilation of the culture of his adopted country.

Gaetano Rando
Professor of Italian