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Norman Cameron (1905-53) - Poet

He was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh, and at Oriel College, Oxford, where he became a lifelong friend of the poet Robert Graves. In 1929 he was appointed an educational officer in Nigeria, a post he held until 1932, when he went to live in Mallorca with Graves and Laura Riding. A clash of personalities forced him to return to Britain where he lived in London, earning a living as an advertising copywriter. During World War II he served as a political officer in North Africa, an experience that gave rise to two of his best poems, 'Green, green is El Aghir' and 'Black Takes White'; both are ironic statements on the futility of war. In 1946 he returned to advertising. He died in April 1953 shortly after being converted to Catholicism. Part Presbyterian moralist and part pagan poet in his attitudes to life and art, something of that paradox can be felt in poems like 'Forgive me, Sire' and 'Nunc scio quid sit amor'.

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