Oxford University Press, $29.50
It is a brave thing to publish your Collected Poems in your early fifties, braver when you are an Australian resident in England publishing there, and a loading might be put on for additional hazard when, like Peter Porter, you are poetry editor both for Oxford and for The Observer. For, when it comes to Collected Poems, it is your very influence that makes you vulnerable.
Porter’s Collected Poems runs up to 335 very substantial pages made up by ten separate books. It is probably an optical illusion, caused by reviewer’s pace, but they seem to grow more substantial, book by book, and my own feeling is that his finest work comes in his last three volumes (leaving aside After Martial, which in any case is dated 1972, the same date as Preaching to the Converted).