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The Alvarez GenerationThom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter$
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William Wootten

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789627947

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789627947.001.0001

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Costing Seriousness

Costing Seriousness

(p.165) Chapter Twelve Costing Seriousness
The Alvarez Generation

William Wootten

Liverpool University Press

This chapter analyzes the language of seriousness in the poetry of Peter Porter. For instance, ‘Seahorses’, from 1969's A Porter Folio, a poem in which Porter recalls finding seahorses upon the beach in the Australia of his childhood, includes the thought of how sometimes they were ‘like a suicide wreathed in fine /Sea ivy and bleached sea roses /One stiff but apologetic in its trance’. The poem ‘Seaside Resort’, from 1972's Preaching to the Converted, half mourns the passing of the Victorian age and the age of seriousness that succeeded an age of faith while Porter's collection The Cost of Seriousness brings questions of seriousness and its cost to a head.

Keywords:   Peter Porter, poems, poetry, poets, seriousness, Seahorses, Seaside Resort

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