In this collection of poems in the modern manner are two long descriptive poems; one about Robert Owen, and a much longer one about Scott's disastrous journey to the South Pole. Poetry seems an awkward way of telling a factual story and though the descriptive passages and fragments from Scott's journal are interspersed with ""weather, /a lunatic mouth babbling of cold,"" the story is not quite transformed into anything more potent and universal than an expedition retold. A similar lack of dimension and evocative power shows in most of the other, shorter poems. Though they have a wide range of subject matter, they rely largely on odd, and oddly jumbled-together, images, to produce startling and sometimes obscure effects (""wire laughter of monkeys"" or, ""His denim body was posed, /as slim and committed as money""); word-tricks which sound forced. Although the poems sometimes glitter, they lack a basic warmth.