Peter Porter’s unique and poignant legacy

The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems

by Peter Porter

Allen & Unwin, $39.99 hb, 440 pp, 9781742374642

It’s the voice, isn’t it, of a master, so unmistakably in command of a music that is inseparable from the personal modesty that is its signature, which belies all grandeur and refuses to take credit for the gift but has it nonetheless in abundance. When Craig Sherborne read the last poem in this Selected Poems, ‘After Schiller’, at the Melbourne memorial service for Peter Porter, it was self-evident. It came with a shock of recognition – almost a surprise – that we were in the hands of a great poet; that one of the highest gifts a human being could possess had passed from us with the death of this man in April 2010.

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Published in February 2011 no. 328
Peter Craven

Peter Craven

Peter Craven is one of Australia's best-known literary and culture critics. He writes regularly for both the Fairfax and Murdoch press about literature, film, television, and theatre.