Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday

It is, as George Szirtes mentions, the 80th anniversary (or near enough) of the birth of Peter Porter, officially Australia's greatest export (despite both Clive James' and Kylie's claims to that term; Les Murray never exported himself), and a towering presence in 20th century poetry. I've yet to properly undergo immersion in his work - an intimidating prospect - but even if just for the Holocaust poem 'Annotations of Auschwitz' and the works in The Cost of Seriousness, he still stands out for me immensely...


Blogger Jane Holland said...

I heard the great man read a few years back at the Acumen-run festival in Torbay (or is it officially Torquay, I can never get it right). Peter Porter pleasantly surprised me by being quite rude and not shying away from sex in his poems, despite his advancing years - or prhaps because of them. I know I'm getting ruder with the years, that's for certain.

I tackled him afterwards - in a metaphorical sense! - about such ruderies and he seemed oddly affronted. Perhaps he felt it was an accusation, or perhaps he felt that the sheer gravitas of poetry alone is enough to elevate sexual jibes and asides above the common lot.

Call a spade a spade, is what I say. And a ... supply the rest yourself.


February 23, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home