HOLD APRIL by Jesse Stuart


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Stuart returns to his first love, verse, and when he is at his best, as in a poem like ""Desolation"", he has the stature of a poor man's Robert Frost. But generally, alas, he is not at his best. The rugged vitality of Man With a Bull Tongue Plow has been lost and his antecedents seem to be the lady poets who submit poems to the Times or Iribune. Despite his frontier and rough-hewn backdrop, the tone and texture today suggests the ecstasy of a Sara Teasdale or even the dated passion of a Millay, while lacking their lyric gifts. The passage of years, the ""blighted bloom"", America's ""wild hawks' freedom"" and ""so late in love our autumn is almost over"" -- these are his themes. They can be found in his titles too. He is more successful when he turns to free verse; there he avoids rhymes that jar the sensitive ear. In one poem Mr. Stuart admits ""I've dreamed of corn enough to fill my bin""...The contents of Hold April appear to indicate that his dream has come true.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1962
Publisher: McGraw-Hill