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Adamastor

March 7, 2011

I am posting this from Poland, where Eric is giving talks and teaching for a week. Traveling with my father is something I do from time to time, and while Poland is perhaps not the most exotic of locales, it is nevertheless an interesting place to be….

Further to the Wayzgoose post, some more on Roy Campbell.

Marshall’s copy of ‘The Georgiad’  is inscribed “Marshall McLuhan, con un fuerte abrazo, Roy Campbell.” Of the several Campbell books in Marshall’s collection, many are inscribed thus. ‘The Georgiad’, however, also contains something special, alluded to in the Wayzgoose post: an ink drawing of a bull and matador by Campbell for Eric!

‘Adamastor’ has more writing in it by Marshall:

“Apropos of the Land Grabber p. 105 Campbell said that
he took the pains to get a pot of S. African soil and put it
in a pouch. He then got a big knife and went to see
the poet. He held out the pouch on the end of the knife
and said: “Here’s the soil. Cut out your heart.” Oh,
goodness said the poet, that was just poetic license.
Sez R. C.: Don’t say what you don’t mean
—-
Alistair Crowley, would-be “Great Beast” tried to effect
illusion he had been done in by the Catholics. He left his
cape, watch and dog by the seashore.
A real leopard man, Major Sit … Shea of the KAR’s
was the strongest man in the regiment. He had a
terrible aura of evil. Was the cause of murders, etc in
the regiment. But he was impeccable. He couldn’t
be court-marshalled. So he has to be murdered.
Four men were detailed for the job. On their return
much shaken, they entered their hut. A kitten
reared up and spat on them.”

In pencil, below that, Marshall has enigmatically written:

“Why didn’t Lewis give me copy of Roaring Queen”

And on the other page:

“I asked Campbell whether he wrote slowly. He was
12 years at this Adamastor collection. But the Flaming
Terrapin was written in 48 hours.”

In ‘Flowering Rifle: a poem from the battlefield of Spain’ there are a couple of items.
A photo of Roy Campbell in wintery 1953, and a letter on UofT letterhead which reads “My dear Caitlin, Those men never were friends of Dylan – he had no professional sort of outlet.’ And in Marshall’s writing ‘beginnings of Roy Campbell letter to wife of Dylan Thomas’.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew

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