Nervous, sharp, fast-talking poems which remind one of Karl Shapiro in their ""tired century"" idiom. Mrs. Palmer writes of a degenerate woman-ruled America, of crumpling cities, of Roman decadence and the inevitable ""magnificently wild barbarian, no empire has withstood"", the coming conquest. All through the poems is the warning to the ""tarnished circus folk"" of America and a self-imposed stricture to observe a faith which persuades that ""strength and beauty shall confound the wise"". Clever, angry poems in which giant cities demand tawdry slavery, the emperors and senators scheme and bicker, and decadent men are ruled by women -- particularly mothers (in one rather unsuccessful parody of the old ballad ""Lord Randall"" the hero is about to kill his possessive mother). On the whole, however, these poems have things to say in a vigorous masculine voice. On the way up.