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ROY CAMPBELL SELECTED POEMS (article first published : 2004-10-26)

Launched at the 2004 Poetry Africa festival was Roy Campbell : (new) Selected Poems edited by Michael Chapman.

Roy Campbell’s poetry is much loved and lauded by his South African peers as well as receiving international acclaim. This new Selected Poems returns to print the range of his achievement from his long poem The Flaming Terrapin (1924) to the splendid translations of European poetry in the years prior to his death in 1957 in a car accident.

Born in Durban in 1901 Campbell made his mark on South African poetry with lyrics and satires of vividness and power including To a Pet Cobra, Rounding the Cape, The Zebras and A Veldt Eclogue : The Pioneers. Just as the sights, sounds and colours of Africa attracted his talents, so did the world of the Mediterranean where, in Spain and Portugal, he spent the greater part of his adult life. As Michael Chapman notes in his introduction, Campbell’s unique strength is to be found in creative tensions between his romantic imagination and his sense of classical form.

The re-issue of these Selected Poems along with a recently-launched unique CD on Campbell’s life and work, confirms the continuing appeal of arguably the first South African poet of true stature.

Michael Chapman is Professor of English at UKZN. His numerous publications include Southern African Literatures, The New Century of SA Poetry and The New Century of SA Short Stories. He is also one of the editors of the four-volume Roy Campbell: Collected Works.

Produced by Jonathan Ball Publishers Roy Campbell : (new) Selected Poems is available at R95.




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