Porter, Dorothy

Australia, (1954-2008)

Pig in a silk purse

  1. Fay enfolds me like a silk purse.
  2.  
  3. The pig in me
  4. squealing.
  5.  
  6. Burning. building. twelve bodies.
  7. like barbecued things. they keep bringing
  8. them out. out of me. and Penny-Jenny.
  9. my little fat dear one. in her big bad ghost
  10. white sheet.
  11.  
  12. Fay’s body covers, comforts me
  13.  
  14. stop talking, she says, listen to me
  15.  
  16. and her skin, her cool sweet skin
  17. talks
  18. and listens.

 Dorothy Porter. What a Piece of Work. Sydney: Picador (1999).

Piglets Both

  1. I can hear
  2. the pig
  3. singing.
  4. At this time
  5. in the morning!
  6.  
  7. The shrill
  8. musical sow
  9. trills my dawn;
  10. to clutch
  11. and reiterate
  12. every morsel
  13. every wonderful
  14. falling in the mush.

 Dorothy Porter. Little Hoodlum. Sydney: Prism (1975).

Enchanted Beasts

  1. Circe
  2. with serene brow
  3. and her swine
  4. with cool snouts
  5. halt
  6. traffic.
  7.  
  8. I watch
  9. the policeman
  10. sprout
  11. flapping
  12. enraged wings.
  13. As a furious
  14. golden goose
  15. he honks
  16. orders
  17. like a Ford car.
  18.  
  19. My heart
  20. has lost energy
  21. to argue
  22. with random spectacle —
  23.  
  24. animal crackers
  25. in my soup.
  26.  
  27. And Warsaw
  28. staggers
  29. out of 1940
  30. with a wolverine
  31. at the throat —
  32. its grip
  33. like an incinerated street.
  34. The Black Forest
  35. growled
  36. on all fours
  37. at Hansel and Gretel —
  38. there was
  39. no enchanted island
  40. no wry-mouthed goddess.
  41.  
  42. Savage beasts
  43. can be
  44. just that.
 Dorothy Porter. Little Hoodlum. Sydney: Prism (1975).

About the Poet:

Dorothy Porter (1954-2008), was an Austrailia poet and novelist. She was born in Sydney and attended Queenwood School for Girls and the University of Sydney, graduating in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History. Later she received a Diploma of Education at the Sydney Teachers’ College.

Porter worked as a bus conductor on the Sydney buses, and taught creative writing in schools, prisons and community workshops. She also lectured part-time in Poetry and Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. Porter’s first poetry collection, Little Hoodlum (1975), stressed themes of sensuality, risk-taking and, at times, violence, making her a highly individual voice on the Australian poetry scene. She also produced five verse novels that are considered her most distinctive contribution to Australian literature.

Porter was determined to prove that poetry could attract readers. Her verse novel The Monkey’s Mask (1994), a detective story plot with racy verse and satire of the local poetry scene was a notable success. [DES-02/17]

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.