A correspondent writes:—The interesting first stave of the Clyde River Anthology in the Library Review reminds one that there are several librarian bards and, occasionally, the library itself has been a subject for the poet. This is natural enough; association with books begets books and, in prose, it is possible that, many as are the library journals now published, they are not spacious enough to hold all the writings of librarians. But poets are another matter; they are fewer; they work in a field which only a few cultivate with any ardour or seriousness. We have them, nevertheless. You have already at times drawn some attention to them, but I cannot remember any sufficient notice of some of them. For example, James Ormerod, who passed from us only a year or so ago, when he was 44 published a collection, Tristram's Tomb (Elkin Mathews), containing poems written over the years from 1903. It is a good volume, traditional in form, the themes, Caedmon, Cuchulain, the other Arthurian legend suggested by the title and some more than ordinary lyrics and sonnets. Twenty years later, in 1948, he published a slim volume of three plays, two of them, a somewhat violent classical story, Periander and Cormac, and a northern legend, Steengard, are in firm and effective blank verse, the third and title story being the Burmese Wife, a sort of Madame Butterfly tragedy in prose (Mitre Press). They read well; their theatre possibilities I am unable to assess.
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