Fall 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 4 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 1969 |

Shorter Reviews: The Complete Poems

The Complete Poems by Randall Jarrell. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $10.00. Language is a great magic. The young poet turns it on and it begins to tell him wonderful things, so many wonderful things he can scarcely believe, at times, that this instrument that the mouth of man has been playing the tunes of for hundreds of years and for thousands of years should yet have reserved to himself so many fresh inventions, marvelous cadences, new sayings of oldest thoughts; and all done by sending out on the indefinitely accommodating carrier wave of the sentence the huge and fathomless words of power: night, cold, sky, life, love, water, bread, grief, fire, death. . . . It is the world over again, the world made new. His favorite poet has said it: "Im dunkeln Dichter wiederholt sich still/ein jedes Ding: ein Stern, ein Haus, ein Wald." A star, a house, a wood, that's how it goes, simple and miraculous. And to be a poet, a dark poet, in whom as in his favorite poet's favorite figure of p

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