Shortly after the assassination of Kennedy, the editors of this book asked various poets, known and obscure, if they had written any poems about the event. They had, and in spite of two good introductions by the editors and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., this resultant collection is disappointing. Perhaps great poetry is rarely written in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy and about half of these poems are raw, unpolished sentimental and very personal. Some are written as if from the viewpoint of Kennedy, his assassin, or his widow and others try to assimilate the event from an impossibly inside view. John Berryman, Gwendolyn Brooks, Donald Hall, May Swenson and Reed Whittemore are among the more distinguished contributors in a collective work where the chief interest is historical and the intention commemorative.