The people in these poems have all been, or are about to be, transmuted into something strange, large, mythic. ""Phineas, Fluting, Wanda and Alphonse,"" the opening series of poems, are beings hugely but frailly mortal as pagan gods, alienated from but vaguely related to each other. In other poems, a murdered woman recluse, witches, kings, knights, and several historical figures (from Mendel to Handel) are altered in mysterious solitudes, become fixed and crystallized in vast starry spaces. Secret and unknown forces move under the earth, to destroy castles and courtliness, or sweep the wildness from the new continent of America. A sense of mutable time and being, of a joyous-solemn celebration of the continuity of life, of exhilarating apotheosis, runs through all these poems. An exciting collection.