Robert Ford

Robert Arthur Douglas Ford, diplomat, poet (b at Ottawa 8 Jan 1915; d at Vichy, France 12 Apr 1998).

Ford, Robert Arthur Douglas

Robert Arthur Douglas Ford, diplomat, poet (b at Ottawa 8 Jan 1915; d at Vichy, France 12 Apr 1998). Ford joined the Department of External Affairs (now FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE) in 1940 and in 1946 was second secretary in the Canadian embassy in Moscow, where he spent much of his career in various positions, including ambassador (1964-80). Other postings have included Yugoslavia and the United Arab Republic. He was special adviser to the Canadian government on East-West relations 1980-85. Ford is the author of 4 collections of verse, including translations - A Window on the North (Governor General's Award, 1956), The Solitary City (1969) and Holes in Space (1979). All are distinguished by a clinical despair and a precision of language and form. Ford might be said to be, like Lester PEARSON or Charles RITCHIE, in the humanistic tradition of Canadian diplomacy that is now, alas, obsolete. Needle in the Eye: Poems New and Old (1983), Russian Poetry: A Personal Anthology (1985) and Doors, Words and Silence (1985) were his last publications.