Summer 1939 • Vol. I No. 3 Book Reviews |

Laura Riding

The Collected Poems of Laura Riding. Random House. $4.00 Of all the contemporary poems I know, these seem to me the furthest advanced, the most personal and the purest. I hope, but hardly believe, that they will be assimilated soon into the general consciousness of literature. The authority, the dignity of truth telling, lost by poetry to science, may gradually be regained. If it is, these poems should one day be a kind of Principia. They argue that the art of language is the most fitting instrument with which to press upon full reality and make it known. There are several modes of literary revelation. A fine novel makes us aware of fine quotidian truths; an exact work of reason informs us of fine abstract truths. Certain poetry, being noble, passionate and skilled, awakens us to a good admiration and gravity. One might say that in practice Laura Riding attempts to concentrate these modes. “A poem is an uncovering of truth of so fundamental and general a kind that no oth

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