FINGERS OF HERMES by Radcliffe Squires


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A 1951 collection of this author's poems was highly praised by Eberhart, Ciardi and others. Several of the ""poems of the past decade"" in this present collection have been published in various journals. They are generally restrained and delicate, and are most often about friends, Greece, and myths or history (as in the long ""The Bone House; Analogues to Beowulf,"" which is full of dragons, heroes, and a moving but mysterious symbolism). Their manner is cool, remote, impersonal, or with the personal meaning obscure; largely unrhymed, they are held together less by tension, vivid images, rhyme or even the interplay of word-sounds, than by a kind of dying fall of sounds and phrases. This calm, and a lack of nervous immediacy, of inevitable images and ideas, sometimes produces a fairly diffuse and dreamy effect. But, despite some internal weaknesses, each poem is always a complete whole, without redundancies or unnecessary diversions; and this sense of conscious control makes them, if not universally appealing, curiously satisfying.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1965
Publisher: Univ. of Michigan Press