Peter Porter (poet)

Australian, British based poet (1929-2010)

Peter Neville Frederick Porter (16 February 192923 April 2010) was an Australian-born poet and critic who lived for most of his adult life in Britain. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2002, and the Royal Society of Literature made him a Companion of Literature in 2007.

Peter Porter in 2007

Sourced edit

  • We cannot know what John of Leyden felt
    Under the Bishop's tongs – we can only
    Walk in temperate London, our educated city,
    Wishing to cry as freely as they did who died
    In the Age of Faith. We have our loneliness
    And our regret with which to build an eschatology.
    • "The Historians Call Up Pain", first collected in Once Bitten, Twice Bitten (1961); cited from Edward Lucie-Smith and Philip Hobsbaum (eds.) A Group Anthology (London: Oxford University Press, 1963) p. 83.
  • In the New World, happiness is enforced.
    • "In the New World Happiness is Allowed", in The Cost of Seriousness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978) p. 28.
  • In Australia
    Inter alia,
    Think they’re Socrates.
    • Quoted in Charles Osborne Giving It Away (London: Secker & Warburg, 1986) p. 114.
  • Redeemers always reach the world too late.
    God dies, we live; God lives, we die. Our fate.
    • "A Tale of Two Pieties", in The Chair of Babel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) p. 51.

The Last of England (1970) edit

Quotations are cited from the 1st edition (London: Oxford University Press, 1970).

  • Language of the liberal dead speaks
    From the soil of Highgate, tears
    Show a great water table is intact.
    You cannot leave England, it turns
    A planet majestically in the mind.
    • "The Last of England", p. 1.
  • Much have I travelled in the realms of gold
    for which I thank the Paddington and Westminster
    Public Libraries.
    • "The Sanitized Sonnets: 4", p. 41.
  • A professional
    is one who believes he has
    invented breathing.
    • "Japanese Jokes", p. 62.
  • Somewhere at the heart
    of the universe sounds the
    true mystic note: Me.
    • "Japanese Jokes", p. 63.

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