SELECTED POEMS by Denis Devlin


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Denis Devlin, student of languages, Ambassador to Italy at one time, and poet, died in 1959. His friends, Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren, have written a glowing preface to this collection of his poems. Two of the poems they prefer deal with (Irish) religion and seem, like many of Devlin's poems, rather too intellectual. The warmth that both Tate and Warren praise in Devlin bursts forth, however, in several of the more private poems. Here the intellectual is fused by feeling into an imagery rich with complex turns and haunting echoes- a lyric apprehension that grasps and lets escape a heightened insight on the nature of many personal emotions and life itself. Here Devlin is a fine poet, working from the inside out. The poems about ideas seem flat by comparison although in all his work Devlin has a fine command of language. As an example of a poet who sometimes succeeded in raising fact to a startlingly different dimension, and as a study in what the lay-critic-reader means by the true nature of poetry, this book makes very interesting reading.

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston