Winter 1943 • Vol. V No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1943 |

Poetry from Right to Left

It is a strange experience to read through such a random selection of verse as this one. Time alone, "brutal," as Mr. Jarrell would say, "as a thumb," made it, and it is calculated to chasten any conviction you might have that facts will support an orderly theory about them. A six months that produces Mr. Zinsser's Spring, Summer and Autumn, Mr. Jarrell's Blood for a Stranger and Mr. Villa's Have Come, Am Here cannot but want discourse of reason: the range of manner and merit is too great. Reading through them, I found myself in desperation arranging these books from right to left, according as they were more or less conventional in manner. If this arrangement is accepted without prejudice it will give a useful if quite arbitrary order.1 Reading from right to left, then, we have, waiving Mr. Zinsser as an example too derivative and insensitive to be of interest, Mr. Humphries. Mr. Humphries is a poet of the average intelligent man's sensibility. He has an eye for the familiar com

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Literary critic, Arthur Mizener (1907-1988) was Mellon Foundation Professor of English at Cornell University from 1951 to 1975. In addition to other works, he authored the first biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Far Side of Paradise (1951) along with a biography of Ford Madox Ford, The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford (1971).

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