Born to flying glass/ bombs strafing shrapnel murder/ from me expect no pleasing tones"" says Mr. Barnes; but the childhood in England in World War II to which he alludes does not seem to account entirely for this note of somewhat histrionic bitterness, which underlies many of his poems. World wars, the battle between the sexes, conventions and organizations (schools, democracies), and the culture of California are all attacked, less with cool objectivity than with a young, colloquial, personal sense of alienation. The clue perhaps lies in some of the quieter poems, one of which speaks of the hurt of being separated from a ""cockney"" childhood by the ""different language"" of education and poetry. There is power and anger here, but much of it is limited to the involvement of an individual struggling with past uncertainties, still striving to transcend his own defenses and barriers. It is, therefore, most interesting where it deals more with personal revelation and truth than with ""objective"" attacks.