Peter Porter

Peter Porter

Peter Porter was born in Australia and, though he emigrated to Britain in 1951, he visited his native country often and considered himself part of the poetical worlds of both nations. From 1968 he was a freelance literary journalist and reviewer. He published seventeen books of poems, plus four further volumes with the Australian painter Arthur Boyd. He was married twice and had, with his second wife, nine grandchildren. A friend to the greats - Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes as well as to contemporary writers such as Julian Barnes and Martin Amis, he died in 2010, aged eighty-one.


Friday poem: 'So Unimaginably Different and So Long Ago'

Friday poem: 'So Unimaginably Different and So Long Ago'

'We don't believe in progress / yet how can taste run backwards?' It's not that the speaker in Peter Porter's poem 'So Unimaginably Different and So Long Ago' doesn't believe in progress, more that he is afraid of it. It's much easier to admire a Medici bust, whose story is so well known, than to embrace something new like a messy bed, with all the change that that might signify.