Peter Porter

(b. 1929) Australian poet

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poet, born in Brisbane, Australia; he came to England in 1951. He was briefly associated with the Group in the 1960s, and the work in his early collections (Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, 1961; Poems, Ancient and Modern, 1964; The Last of England, 1970) provides a sharply satiric portrait of London in the ‘swinging sixties’. In the 1970s, his work became more meditative, complex, and allusive, though no less colloquial and urbane; its learned references to Italian baroque, classical mythology, opera, and German Romanticism add both richness and obscurity. The Cost of Seriousness (1978) and English Subtitles (1981) explore the poet's conflicting responsibilities to his art and to others. His Collected Poems was published in 1983. Later volumes include Fast Forward (1984), Possible Worlds (1989), The Chair of Babel (1992), Millenial Fables (1994), Collected Poems 1961–1999 (2 vols, 1999), Max Is Missing (2001), Afterburner 2004, and Better Than God (2009).

Subjects: Literature.

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