The title of this collection of poems may be misleading--may even do the poet a disservice of sorts--because it is not by the small poems which lead off here but through the stronger, sustained poems that Miss Ostriker convinces her reader. One-third way through this slender volume ""For Barbarians; a Thesiad and Sequel"" appears: the effect is as startling as if a young ballerina performing her allotted two minute solo suddenly commandeers the entire ballet. Evidently Alicia Ostriker needs space. When her lines begin to ripple out eight, ten or more syllables, when her architecture evolves through several changes of mood and stanza form, then you feel her power. ""Elegy"" and ""The Hunt,"" two laments on the death of a father, are notable; ""The Hunt"" is the most expanded and perhaps for this reason the most interesting of the poems.