In an essay on the poetry of George Crabbe, Peter Porter wrote, ‘It is a great pleasure to me, a man for the littoral any day, to read Crabbe’s description of the East Anglian coast.’ Happily, there is by now a substantial and various array of writings about Porter’s work, and I would like simply to add that his being, metaphorically, ‘a man for the littoral’, with all its interfusions, is one of his distinguishing qualities, and something to rejoice in. Coastlands, and marshes, are essential to his intellect and to his imagination. He may never have had one foot in Eden, but he did rejoice in a plurality of territories.
Peter Steele (1939–2012) was a poet, academic, Jesuit priest, and Professor Emeritus of English literature at the University of Melbourne. His publications included seven books of poetry: Word from Lilliput (1973), Marching on Paradise (1973), Invisible Riders (1999), Plenty: Art into Poetry (2003), The Whispering Gallery: Art into Poetry (2006), White Knight with Bee-Box: New and Selected Poems (2009), and The Gossip and the Wine (2010). He wrote for ABR many times between 1982 and 2012.
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