In all the busy-ness of the ANZAC Day long weekend I didn’t hear until today that poet Peter Porter died on Friday. I’ve admired Porter for a long time, not so much for his poetic landscape – it’s not really my interest – but for the body of work he created and his truth to his vision.
Porter’s work is a bit too urbane for my taste, almost too civilized and too classical in its literary basis. I sometimes wonder what kind of poet he might have become had he stayed in Australia? Better?
But Porter’s body of work is commanding and undeniable and I heard him read a couple of times over the years and always enjoyed that experience. Some critics say he’s the best poet since Auden. Big call! But it’s undoubtedly a big loss to poetry.