24 Mar 2024

Roy Campbell

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Roy Campbell 1902-1957

The Georgiad

Now Spring, sweet laxative of Georgian trains,

Quickens the ink in literary veins,

The Stately Homes of England ope their doors

To piping nancy-boys and crashing Bores,

Where for week-ends the scavengers of letters

Convene to chew the fat about their betters….

Hither flock all the crowd whom love has wrecked

Of intellectuals without intellect

And sexless folk whose sexes intersect….

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All Poetry:

Ignatius Royston Dunnachie Campbell, better known as Roy Campbell, (2 October 1901 – 23 April 1957) was a South African poet and satirist. He was considered by T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas and Edith Sitwell to have been one of the best poets of the period between the First and Second World Wars.

Campbell’s vocal attacks upon the Marxism and Freudianism popular among the British intelligentsia caused him to be a controversial figure during his own lifetime. It has been suggested by some critics and his daughters in their memoirs that his support for Francisco Franco’s Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War has caused him to be labelled politically incorrect and blacklisted from modern poetry anthologies.

In 2009, Roger Scruton wrote, “Campbell wrote vigorous rhyming pentameters, into which he instilled the most prodigious array of images and the most intoxicating draft of life of any poet of the 20th century… He was also a swashbuckling adventurer and a dreamer of dreams. And his life and writings contain so many lessons about the British experience in the 20th century that it is worth revisiting them”.

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