John Ormond Biography
(1923–90), Indications, Requiem and Celebration, Definition of a Waterfall, Selected Poems, A Bronze Mask
Welsh poet, born at Dunvant, near Swansea, educated at University College, Swansea. After working as a journalist, he began a career with the BBC in 1955, becoming a distinguished director and producer of documentary films. Following the appearance of his verse in Indications (with James Kirkup and John Bayliss, 1942), he was advised by Vernon Watkins to publish no more poetry before he was 30; he consequently developed prohibitively exacting standards of self-criticism, with the result that his first independent collection, Requiem and Celebration, did not appear until 1969. His other principal publications are Definition of a Waterfall (1973) and Selected Poems (1987), which contained much previously uncollected material. Ormond's formidable technical abilities are frequently used to provide lucid structures for his exploratory treatments of problematic personal and social concerns. The dramatically effective visual qualities of many of his poems suggest an imaginative continuity between his writing and his work as a film-maker. His films include A Bronze Mask (1968), on Dylan Thomas, and The Fragile Universe (1969), on Alun Lewis.