A slender, chatty book on the ancestry and trends of modern poetry which is free of the technicalities that often discourages the casually curious reader. Devotees of modern verse criticism will find little here that they have not encountered elsewhere, but they might enjoy jogging along with the author because of the novelty of his informal approach. Example: ""The present holder of the world heavyweight championship, Mr. T. S. Eliot is very grateful to his old trainer, Ezra Pound."" First delivered as lectures for the B. B. C., the six chapters retain a conversational tone that might encourage those who generally shy from the erudite criticism to investigate.