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Peter Reading, Last Poems

Dramatic Readings



Peter Reading

Last Poems, written at a time of great change in Peter Reading’s personal life, presents itself as a posthumous collection prepared by John Bilston after the poet’s suicide. Here the pages have numbers, the poems have titles, for Reading had said he wanted to “get back to writing individual poems.” The death of the last hero, Beowulf, opens the book, and as Isabel Martin writes in Reading Peter Reading, “nothing has changed since then: fraud and disappointment, hunger and misery, havoc and pestilence, murder and slaughter. The apocalypse is on the horizon, accelerated in the 20th century.”