Nov. 25, 1954
Sorry for the delay but I had been in New York for a time and must go again shortly. The questions now are harder to answer.
I admired (and still admire) the Carman, Lampman, Roberts, D.C. Scott group. But, as far as I know, there was no influence, for I reacted in the early '20s against the landscape prepossessions, regarding 'scenery' mainly as backdrop to human endeavour.
I think highly of Roy C. and Masefield. The sweep of the former fascinates me yet though the Cachalot & Great Feud were written before I read Campbell. I think the similarities are largely coincidences. Influences are hard to track down, aren't they? Fantasy with an underlying purpose has always had a hold on me.
Nationalism was never very strong. The only poems which might be called 'Canadian' are Brébeuf and certainly the Spike. The subject is tremendously dramatic, and I had the additional advantage of being able to go over the ground.
As Canadian poetry had its fill of pastoral and amorous treatment, I got a bit fed up with it. As you say, I didn't feel drawn to it. I abhor sticky sonnets particularly.
You are never a 'bloody nuisance.'
before I read Campbell|
Not strictly true. He had read Campbell in London in the summer of 1924. See the letter to John Sutherland, late 1952.