- Spring 2000
- ISBN 978-0-921870-73-9 (0-921870-73-6)
- 6″ x 7-5/8″ Trade Paperback, 80 pages
- Poetry, Autobiography
In this collection of poems, Kevin Roberts recreates his recent experience with cancer (non-Hodgkins Lymphoma), a cancer that is often fatal. Roberts takes us from the early feelings of denial through the doctor’s fateful moment of diagnosis, onto his three years of treatment with chemotherapy and radiation, and finally into remission from the disease — a state that can be described as “serene.”
While cancer is not usually considered a subject for poetry, Roberts renders the entire experience in such simple yet powerful language that one cannot help being caught up in the intensity of the struggle to defeat the demon disease. Not surprisingly, Cobalt 3 also contains much black humour, for Roberts refuses to allow others to sentimentalize or soften the terror of cancer. As we discover, the “real” always contains a touch of comedy.
In the final poems, Roberts reflects on his own survival, and his renewed wonderment at the depths of human existence. Cobalt 3 is a book that can be read with appreciation by those who have suffered from cancer and also those interested in tracing one individual’s descent into darkness — and back to light.
“Here is death speaking like an angel, swearing like a trooper, hand over hand, like the fisherman, hauling beauty in out of darkness.”
— Kate Braid