47 Glencairn Ave
Thursday [5 Nov. 1953]

Kakie dear:

This is just a little note to tell you about Roy Campbell, the famous S. African poet now living in Portugal. I have always been a great admirer of his work and I was asked to go down to Montreal to act as his Chairman Monday night. Then last night I was again his Chairman in Toronto at St Mike's. He was wonderful, talking about his experiences – deep-sea diver, octopus-killer (with his bare hands), bull-fighter in Spain and a marvelous writer of verse. As I had to make my introduction brief I typed it out and am sending it along. Will you return it later?

Hoping you are finding the new quarters comfortable.

Father.


sending it along
In his introduction Pratt began by speaking of the pleasure and honour of introducing a man whom, though he had not met him in the flesh until then, he had long known through his writings. He went on to say:

When I was in England in the early twenties I came across ... his Flaming Terrapin ... I read the book and found it a great aesthetic experience, well worth I thought a trip to England. The poem was so full of power, so charged with original metaphor – and, I may say, an undercurrent of philosophy which never obtruded itself, that I could not wonder if the young man of about 20 years could keep up this pace in his later development. So I followed his career and I found his early promise amply justified. Book after book appeared and the pace was not only sustained but increased. I do not know where his Pegasus will go in the future but I have the conviction that it will soar out of sight. When I read his Flowering Rifle, it was like a high-voltage current going through me ... I read other of his works with the same excitement.
(The script of Pratt's slightly different introduction delivered in Toronto is reprinted in EJP: PAA, pp. 285-7.)
Writing to Sutherland next day, Campbell commented: 'I had a wonderful time with Ned in the chair last night.'