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This review is taken from PN Review 77, Volume 17 Number 3, January - February 1991.

RESTITUTION Norman Cameron: Collected Poems and Selected Translations, edited by Warren Hope and Jonathan Barker (Anvil) £14.95

It was time once more to give currency in this country to the work of Norman Cameron, and Jonathan Barker and the Anvil Press are to be congratulated on producing this volume. There was an American edition of The Complete Poems in 1985, edited by Warren Hope, and it is the contents of this collection, with the addition of an introduction by Barker and a biographical essay by Hope, which is now offered to the public. Until the present, there has been virtual silence here since the symposium in Ian Hamilton's Review (Autumn-Winter 1971-2) and there has been no edition of the poems since the Hogarth Press Collected of 1957, which carried an introduction by Robert Graves.

Cameron was born in Bombay in 1905, but seems to have spent little time in India. His father was a Church of Scotland chaplain in a Scots regiment, and Norman was brought up in Edinburgh and won a scholarship to Fettes College, after which he went to Oriel. His later years, till his death in 1953, were centred in England, where he retained, like many of his compatriots, what might be described as a somewhat self-contained Edinburgh touch.

This has left traces in his poems, and although he had a wide literary acquaintance he was at no time swept off his feet even by such prominent performers as Graves, Riding and Auden. His mind was acute and analytical; on his own account, the first impulse for a poem ...


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