Not topflight nor perfect, but it gives keen pleasure, some chuckles and considerable enjoyment through most of its pages, this autobiography of an Irish poet's early years, from childhood to maturity in London. For background, he gives you the Ireland of legend, the dark huts, wandering cobblers and beggars, superstitious fears and beliefs against the power of the church. He gives you too the fairs -- both hiring and produce and animal fairs; he gives you poets, farmers, drinkers, he gives you a sense of isolation from world affairs even the World War. Experiences at school, running away from home, apprenticeship to a cobbler father, a first taste of modern writing, the arrogance of a first visit to Dublin, his attitude towards other writers, towards his farmer neighbors. You have all the facts of his life -- but the charm lies not in those but in the way of writing, which is distinctive.