Monday, January 20, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Roy Campbell (1901 – 1957)

South African poet, satirist and translator.
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Roy Campbell
We shall not meet again: over the wave
Our ways divide, and yours is straight and endless –
But mine is short and crooked to the grave:
Yet what of these dark crowds, amid whose flow
I battle like a rock, aloof and friendless –
Are not their generations, vague and endless,
The waves, the strides, the feet on which I go?
Campbell quotes
Of all the clever people round me here
I most delight in Me –
Mine is the only voice I care to hear,
And mine the only face I like to see.
I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.

Campbell Roy quotes
You praise the firm restraint with which they write –
I'm with you there, of course:
They use the snaffle and the curb all right,
But where's the bloody horse?
Campbell Roy
Translations (like wives) are seldom strictly faithful if they are in the least attractive.
Roy Campbell quotes
Our spirits leaped, hosannas of destruction,
Like desert lilies forked with tongues of fire.
Roy Campbell
With white tails smoking free,
Long streaming manes, and arching necks, they show
Their kinship to their sisters of the sea –
And forward hurl their thunderbolts of snow.
Still out of hardships bred,
Spirits of power and beauty and delight
Have ever on such frugal pastures fed
And loved to course with tempests through the night.
Campbell Roy quotes
The frost stings sweetly with a burning kiss
As intimate as love, as cold as death.
Roy Campbell was one of the very few great poets of our time. His poems are of great stature, and have a giant's strength and power of movement. They have, too, an extraordinary sensuous beauty. Everything is transformed to greatness.
Campbell Roy
The timeless, surly patience of the serf
That moves the nearest to the naked earth
And ploughs down palaces, and thrones, and towers.
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