The Australian-born Peter Porter, who died in 2010, became one of Britain’s best-loved poets. Perhaps appropriately for his future career, he was sacked from his first job in journalism for his ‘unworldliness’.
Porter emigrated to England in 1951, but after two suicide attempts returned to Australia. He came back for good later that year and would write of his assimilation as an Englishman: ‘I haven’t an atom / in my body which I brought to Europe / in 1951’. Initially, he worked in advertising but gave it up in the late 1960s and never had a salaried job again. On receiving a grant at the age of 70 he wrote: ‘I am especially grateful … at such a crucial stage in my career as a writer’. Porter’s collections of poetry all reflect his deep respect for the western poetical tradition.