Anthologies at best are second best to reading the bulk of the work of worthwhile writers and are apt to disappoint one on the score of both inclusion and omission. Rolfe Humphries is, however, one of our best anthologists and, in this instance, the level of the writing is probably more a reflection on the level of the available material than on the selections themselves. For the most part, either the poems are better than the poets or the poets are better than the poems. On the whole, the poems are generally good, but not good enough to warrant placing the poets in the literature of the future. And the poems by established writers seem, in many instances, less good than other work they have done. Some, however, are ably represented:- Marianne Moore, Auden, Wallace Stevens -- while a more handful of the younger generation, notably Theodore Roethke and Richard Wilbur, challenge the masters for top honors.