Wild Surmise

Reviewed by
December 2012–January 2013, no. 347

Wild Surmise

Reviewed by
December 2012–January 2013, no. 347

Was there ever an Australian poet who drank so deep of that turbid spring, enthousiasmos, Aristotelian enthusiasm, as Dorothy Porter? From the grungy vitality of her early collections, to the exuberant embrace of popular genre fiction in her five verse novels, to the high, passionate tone of her lyrics, libretti, and later collections, she was never less than rhapsodic. Such enthusiasm is contagious, and there is an oddly addictive sense of perpetual drama in her verse. This is especially so in the celebrated novels, where her poetic daemon was at its most formidable. It is not surprising, then, that three of these novels have been adapted for the stage, with Wild Surmise, originally published in 2002, the latest.

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