The collected lyrics of Gertrud Kolmar, who died at Auschwitz, were reissued in Germany in 1960. They are appearing here with a foreword by Cynthia Ozick and a laudatory short biography by the translator. Kolmar, a seduced-and-abandoned spinster who devoted her life to the care of a sick father, chose to write otherworldly fantasy-poems primarily about children and animals. All the talk of gentle, languid, eternal matters may remind you of any number of early 20th century poetesses of repressed and overrefined sexuality. Right at the start Kolmar is wrestling ""'till the dawn"" with a ""supplicating brow."" And once you have read that ""My soul is like a swallow fluttering helpless in its cage,"" will you shed a tear when some pages later she's ""consumed with ecstasy""? Was the original German so filled with schwarmerei?