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POEMS, 1970-1972 by Robert Graves

POEMS, 1970-1972

By Robert Graves

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1972
ISBN: 0385062699
Publisher: Doubleday

Graves has grown old, but for him it seems to be a process of intensification and, possibly too, the achievement of an unassailable position. The 83 poems in this collection (sections XXVI through XVIII of his ongoing Collected Works) are predominantly love poems, so exultantly autobiographical and so transcendentally pitched that they may cause discomfiture in some readers. Graves identifies his preoccupation in the broadest terms as "the hidden powers of poetic thought" which realize a "fifth-dimensional co-identification of lovers," a literal phenomenon that he takes care to distinguish from mere "idealistic fancy." To an outsider (as the reader will unavoidably be) the difference cannot be so clear, if only because it belongs to an incommunicable order of experience; or it may be that Graves places his passion and his metaphysics in a particularly close and exclusive relationship. The subject is a love affair -- apparently platonic but in Plato's original incandescent sense -- with a very young gift which will seem, if anything, ideal, though certainly no less valid It entails many moods, themes, occasions, a kind of cantata celebrating the love and the lovers. There are some poems more general and less problematical grouped loosely at the end, but nothing comparable in force or ecstatic music.