These fine, spare poems weave unerringly among images and illusions to create a glittering world of unexpected new relationships and ideas. Mr. Kinnell has been widely published and deservedly praised for his fusion of an absolute simplicity of language and purpose with a genuine poetic insight, mysticism and originality. These poems, even the simplest ones about country life, blaze with vitality and meanings. A long central poem about America, its dreamy and/or ugly landscapes, violence, racial conflicts, and past history, flashes with allusive nightmare scenes and a cool fury. The last section contains, chiefly, two long, powerful poems about mythic beasts as human beings; the characters of a mortally wounded bear and porcupine being metamorphosed into those of the poet and mankind itself. An authentic skill and a striking imagination, exhilarating in its transformations.