Thursday, April 23, 2009

Peter Porter Poet

The latest issue of Poetry Review has just arrived. It celebrates the Australian-born British poet Peter Porter with a number of poems written for his eightieth birthday by the likes of Les Murray, Andrew Motion, Sean O'Brien and George Szirtes. It also has a review of Porter's latest collection Better than God.

Reviews of Better than God: Guardian, Independent, Times. Guardian interview with Porter.

Peter Porter is one of the poets featured on the Poetry Archive and you can hear him reading some poems here. By coincidence I was in Navan Library yesterday and found the Poetry Archive CD of Porter reading his poems which I borrowed. Porter is not a poet I'm very familiar with so I'm looking forward to listening to some of his work.

The titles of the poems on the CD themselves form a sort of poem which intrigues. A sample:
The History of Music
The Sadness of the Creatures
Sex and the Over Forties
The Easiest Room in Hell
Gertrude Stein at Snail's Bay
Wittgenstein's Dream
A Great Reckoning in a Little Room
To My Granddaughters Sweeping Spelsbury Church
Mutiny of the Bountiful
Well, Francis, Where's the Sun?

Titles are very important in poems aren't they. A good title can add to a good poem. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis by Wendy Cope for instance. My best title? Looking through them they are all a bit predictable - probably The Last Humpback Whale in Dublin Zoo.

More on the Peter Porter here.

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