Peter Porter: "In the New World Happiness is Allowed"

‘In The New World Happiness Is Allowed.’
Collected poems: Volume I (1961-1981)
Peter Porter
By John Tranter on March 2011
Peter Porter grew up in Queensland, and left Australia as a young man, in 1951, to make a name for his poetry in London, then called "home". His passion for high European culture was perhaps magnified by his awareness of his lack of a scholarly background, but he turned it to good use, forging a poetry of intricate skill and classical allusion containing folds of irony within irony. In person he was a wonderful talker and a kind and generous friend. This view of Australia, which he came to know well over many return visits, is a double view from the centre of Empire. In a distant province, trying to be classical can indeed "break your heart".