A BEGINNING by William Burford


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Burford is one of those poised, well-modulated chaps who eschew bardic fervor, though drawn to muted romanticism, a hankering after exotic locales, and a sort of dim, quasi-existential heroism. Like so many other formal, younger poets, he fears explosive rebellion or the jolting confessional statement, preferring instead a progression of low-keyed interior actions, tinged with that fashionable quest for life-enhancing values. The result is a good deal of submerged symbolism mixed with brightly particularized descriptions (""Beautiful, where it blows there on the roof of the world./The white, snow plume...""), fancy subjects coolly or metaphysically treated (Lawrence of Arabia, Greece, Africa, Faust), charmingly drawn occasional scenes (""Nuns at an Airbase""), domestic or nature studies, and a few impressively intellectualized lyrics with historical motifs (""The Second City""). This collection embraces work from a previous volume, A World. A minor, uniform excellence reigns throughout. No lightning ever strikes the Burford landscape; the weather remains constant; temperate clime mildly overcast with ""meanings.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1966
ISBN: 0393042790
Publisher: Norton