It is difficult to react, one way or the other, to Robert Wallace's poetry. He is a diligent craftsman, he spins a few felicitous phrases, and exudes a certain open-air charm. But very little of his book rings a bell, very little strikes home. His most entertaining, fanciful pieces are spry descriptions or evocations of animals, quite elegant, quite neat. Yet if one compares them with the bestiary poems of Marianne Moore or Lawrence or even Ogden Nash, they seem rather dim and off hand. Then, too, his more serious efforts, for all their allegorical intent or sharp naturalistic detail, have a tendency to grow pondersome: witness ""The House."" Elsewhere we are reminded of Richard Wilbur (especially ""Steadfastness""), or variations on Carlos Williams' three-member line. Wallace has no real theme or driving force. None of his poems spring from any deep inner necessity. They are pleasant to read, but too hobby-like. His cachet is Sunday painting in verse.