This examination of the relationships among the three magisterial intellects of modern poetry the three who ""seem to have touched all the bases"" -- should be read in concert with Karl Shapiro's The Poetry Wreck (p. 108). Simpson, like Shapiro, is a poet of some distinction and while his tone is more respectful (Shapiro makes whipping boys of TSE and EP), he comes to the same conclusion -- that Williams, being ""more attuned to the age"" is the 20th century American poet par excellence, while Pound and Eliot are nco-fascist, anti-Semitic anachronisms. Or, in any case, Pound is terribly misguided and the Cantos of questionable merit; Eliot, the ""classicist. . . royalist. . . anglo-catholic. . . . "" is solemnly overstuffed and so are the quartets. Each man is treated separately in a mini-biography, leading off with Pound, the determined young pretender who, dressed a la Ronsard, was the laughing-stock of his provincial school; he quite quickly became a doyen of letters, working out of London and Rapallo. It's pathetic to read the exchange of letters between him and WCW -- the timid obstetrician struggling foolishly to mime that breezy, brash style. Eliot, too, once tried his hand at an imitation of EP's headstrong criticism; Pound replied: ""You let me throw the bricks through the front window. You go in at the back door and take out the swag."" At last, Eliot gets the Nobel etc.; Pound, the Bollingen. . .and WCW, the homage of the Ginsberg generation. Rather a fairy tale of poetic knights slaying their critical dragons, with just deserts for each. Simpson has immensely enjoyed writing this book which will give his readers the same pleasure.