Publication of a new volume of poems by the author of The Age of Anxiety is always a major event, regardless of whether or not the book adds up to the poet's best or most important work. At least this book shows W. H. Auden is being himself again. Probably he will rate in the future as one of the great satirists and master of irony in English literature. His technique is superb; he bites at the ugliness of our age, but not without an ameliorating tenderness occasionally. He is wry, introverted and lost in the clouds of semantics -- as witness particularly the prose piece included in this volume, Interlude, an unwritten poem, in which the author reveals the contortions and involutions of his mind. His saving grace is wit and humor and this is most often revealed in his occasional poems. What is there new to be said of Auden? He is loved- he is despised- and this will once again be true of the same people.