Few poets now writing share Porter's sense of the big picture, his ability to read the small event against the waxings and wanings of culture and empire.
Whether these poems look at Europe through the strata of its Golden Ages, revisit the Australia of his childhood or turn their surreal wit to the quieter domestic landscape, together they amount to a sustained meditation on the spirit that bears comparison with the late poems of Wallace Stevens. Magisterial in its perspective and possessed of a rare intellectual sanity, Max is Missing is Porter's most charged and direct work since The Cost of Seriousness.
Peter Porter arrived in Britain fifty years ago and lived here until his death in 2010. From 1974 he visited his native Australia often and considered himself part of the present-day poetical worlds of both nations. From 1968 he was a freelance literary journalist and reviewer. He published seventeen books of poems, plus four further volumes with the Australian painter Arthur Boyd. He was married twice and had, with his second wife, nine grandchildren.