Gilbert Highet, author of The Classical Tradition and the most sincere and delightful Poets in a Landscape as well as many other books, is one of our most artful hidden persuaders. In this latest interpretation of poetry, he uses his skill to make accessible and appealing a great many poets, from Shakespeare to Dylan Thomas. In these essays, well written, never too long or too profound, he seems to stand beside the reader, using a personal, assuring approach. This obviously is a democratic book. Its insights are often good- sometimes questionable, as in the case of E.E. Cummings whom Highet does not recognize as the fine love lyricist he is. This should prove as popular a book of literary criticism as criticism can ever be. It will be used widely in schools and colleges and homes, and should be a welcome help to all who are mystified by poetry and would like to widen their appreciation of this medium.