Many of the biographical details of Roy Campbell’s life have contributed to his exquisitely beautiful poetry being willfully ignored by most of the publishing world.
In her introduction to Campbell’s translations of the poems of St John of the Cross, Campbell’s wife, Mary states:
‘The violent side of his character was used as a cloak for a vulnerable, contemplative soul. The tough soldier, the crack shot, the jouster, the convivial story-teller were all so many masks covering the retiring, gentle, creative spirit from a too brutal contact with everyday life.’
This claim is in some way confirmed by a close look at Campbell’s poetry and translations, rather than by reading any of the available biographies. Read more…
R J Dent says: ‘In my opinion, Roy Campbell’s poetry deserves much wider recognition that it currently receives. Campbell is a gifted poet, and a sensitive translator of the work of others, especially Baudelaire, Lorca and St. John of the Cross.’
Violence and Exquisite Beauty in Roy Campbell’s Poetry
Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)
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