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This article is taken from PN Review 112, Volume 23 Number 2, November - December 1996.

Norman Cameron on Norman Cameron Warren Hope

Norman Cameron was the most reticent of poets. He wrote little and rarely discussed the creed or craft of poetry, much less his own poems, in public. Robert Graves, in his 'Introduction' to the 1957 edition of The Collected Poems of Norman Cameron, drew attention to this reticence: 'A volume of Collected Poems should, properly, be introduced by its author, but Norman did not envisage any such publication as this, and seems to have left no written record of his opinions on the nature and practice of poetry.'

Still, Cameron did leave some records of his opinions on poetry. Among the most interesting of these are his responses to a survey conducted by Geoffrey Grigson and published in New Verse in October 1934. These statements are given in their entirety in my biographical afterword to Cameron's Collected Poems and Selected Translations (Anvil, 1990), edited by Jonathan Barker and myself. Recently, comments by Cameron on some of his own poems have come to light in Austria. Marion Bajardi, the niece of Norman Cameron's widow, Gretl Bajardi, kindly sent me a copy of a radio script which was among the papers that came into her possession at the time of her aunt's death. The script is a typescript with penned corrections in Cameron's hand.

On 5 June 1952, less than a year before his death from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 48, Cameron entered a BBC studio and recorded comments on a selection of his ...


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