There is a lot of looking back in Peter Weltner’s poems, and thus the attendant sadness of thinking about people and events of a past more robust than the present. But the sense of loss is shot through not only with passages reproducing in image and rhythm the energy of natural creation, but with the pleasures of memory. His settling into the conviction that “All is good. All is right” is not sentimental or specious: it is earned by his often unsparing look at the past, what happened and what did not happen, what he sometimes wishes for or at least misses and what remains incomplete and unsatisfying in his memory. The pleasures of memory, and the particular beauties of birds and beasts and flowers and trees and seascapes and ground fog, stand always in his poetic regard and craft as not just the compensating matter of existence, but as its continual and commanding presence. Donald J. Gray, Professor Emeritus of English, Indiana University, Bloomington
Peter Weltner is a poet who is a fine painter of words, an intricate, delicate analyst of emotions, and a writer who puts content, intellect and memory back on the map of poetry, undermining sterile maxims and inept clichés….His poetry celebrates nature’s riches joyously and energetically, and conveys the finesse and sorrows of lovers without moralising, in a composed tone that always suggests vulnerability, sensitivity and poignancy. His lyrical grace is inimitable, his lines supple, subtle and nuanced, threaded together with a fine technical skill. Although his poems can be political he is never intent on button-holing the reader, but only in highlighting hypocrisy, humbug and cant wherever he finds it, all this whilst eschewing cynicism and the sardonic sneers we often associate with contemporary poetry, endorsing a latter-day day faith in Whitmanesque democracy. His poetry confirms that poetry can be a ‘consoling blessing’, and that a writer can stand up to the current contempt for reason and the poisonous ignoring of truth. It is a poetry which opposes brutality and vulgarity. One feels that there is a powerful mind at work in Peter Weltner’s work, and the indefinable tenor of that mind is shown in the unique stamp of his voice. His poetry should be better known than it is.
- S. Milne, “The Poetry of Peter Weltner,” Agenda Vol. 54, Nos. 1-2
PETER WELTNER’S SCRAPBOOK MAPPINGS OF MY COUNTRY
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