This second volume of poems, selected from those written after the appearance of Nemerov's novel, The Melodramatists, creates as much confusion in the reader's mind as that dark and unpleasant work. To use the post's own line, these poems seem to evince a ""sarcastic triumph of the mind"", in the hard rational fixation on symbols and attitudes concerned with decay. With the war poems this preoccupation seems fitting and the sharp images are often powerful. However, the limitation in perspective is noticeable in the other poems, and the jagged line with an often lopsided rhythm does not help the intricate imagery. For those who can take Kafka straight.