The author has previously published a novel and a book-length poem. Some of the poetry in this collection was written on a Guggenheim Foundation grant. They are for the most part muted poems about nature (birds, trees, morning, etc.) written with a kind of dogged observation and some uneasy similes. There are also some dealing with city people and beggars, and some even better ones about country people, river people and rivers. In spite of occasionally good imagery and phrasing, too many of these poems are slight in theme and while they are lyric in their intention and general appearance, they lack surprise and freshness.