Edwin Thumboo: Two Voices


  • Robert Lumsden, Adelaide, Australia


The article finds two dominant approaches in the poetry of Edwin Thumboo. In the first, the speaker stands as observer-biographer of the world of public affairs and shared space; in the second mode, the speaker of the poems comprehends that world from a point of view of lyric empathy, as part of a process of self-disclosure. Though the first mode yields poems of particular excellence, I suggest that it is the second, lyric, impulse that is fundamental, and more productive of poetry likely to be seen as occupying a central place in his oeuvre. A brief final section surveys what seem to be some new directions in Edwin Thumboo’s poetry.


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Author Biography

Robert Lumsden, Adelaide, Australia

Robert Lumsden was born in Melbourne, Australia, was educated at the University of Sussex and the University of East Anglia, and has lectured in Literature at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, the National University of Singapore and the National Institute of Education, Singapore. He has published poetry, fiction and literary criticism, most recently Reading Literature after Deconstruction, and a novel, Sojourn. He currently lives in South Australia where he is working on a novel and a book on aesthetics.  




How to Cite

Lumsden, Adelaide, Australia, R. (2013). Edwin Thumboo: Two Voices. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 7(2), 218–229. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/327



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