In his crusty and grummply admiring introduction, John Ciardi hits a bedrock sounding in his statement that Fact was this poet's language, and indeed, the rush and plunge of time and testaments wait on a mirror, a child's cry in the street, ""Floor, Table. Carpet."" (""What helpless names."") Yet Holmes' was not a contemplative nature, Speech and fact carry their own necessities, and the poet, like the bear unchained, plods on in his circumspect perspective, in the ""circle of usualness,"" and will not break the chains that"" stretch and dignify."" To the tyranny of things Holmes lines up his insight"" in the wink of a word."" Occasionally the poet backs himself into a corner with a clumsy, traditional saw such as, ""For sun no possible word but sun"", but on the whole the rhythm and vitality of speech illuminate circumstance. The subject matter ranges from extensions of natural occurrences to the perplexed instant of the twentieth century man. A familiar ego, a contemporary, trustworthy voice.