"Things Common, Properly" is a major retrospective collection of Peter Whigham's poems and verse translations. The selection contains all the poems which he wishes to keep in print, and includes the whole of "The Blue Winged Bee", which was a Poetry Book Society Choice in 1969. It also contains much previously uncollected and unpublished material, such as his poems about childhood ("The Feast & The Gypsies"), his exquisite renderings of some Sappho fragments, and his adaptation of "The Genealogy of Women" from Semonides. William Carlos Williams described Peter Whigham as 'the most delightful translator of Catullus', and Hugh Kenner wrote of "The Poems of Catullus" that it is 'not only a reclamation of the past, but a book for young poets to study'. This collection shows some of his other translations in the context of his original poetry, to which they form a natural extension. Like others who learned their craft from Ezra Pound, Peter Whigham has found his inspiration both at home and abroad, in times past and present, and his strong sense of tradition brings seemingly distant times and places together in a compelling imaginative framework of his own.
Peter Whigham was born in England in 1925. He lived for some years in Italy, before moving to the United States in 1966.