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continue to seek its achievement; that, indeed, within man rests the potential for its achievement. Reason, Levi asserts, is the base "which human nature and skill are founded on." This wrestling with man and the problem of his redemption is a persistent theme among the Anvil Press poets. I use "redemption" deliberately because most of them are writing kinds of religious verse, often wedding religious to political concerns. Levi's reason proclaims liberty "mankind's oldest friend": it is the knowledge of God in the end. The inheritance of God's children shall be liberty: equality: fraternity. And when, as in Levi, even such openly political sentiments as these are combined with prosodie skill, they can yield verse of remarkable intensity. I do not mean that I find these poets uniformly successful or the judgment of Anvil's editors wholly unexceptionable. Of the seventeen books Anvil has published over the last year and a half, I have singled out the six I believe most worthy of critical attention.* Among the twelve remaining titles, there are some which in my view would have been better left to oblivion. But making editorial decisions about poems is a hazardous enterprise. And Anvil has in Holloway, Purcell, Burns, Shaw, Levi, and perhaps several others provided an outlet to poets who have contributed and hopefully will continue to contribute to the growing body of significant contemporary verse. * Actually the number is eighteen. Salvatore Quasimodo's Debit and Credit is unavailable in the United States, and so has been excluded from consideration in this review. Barton R. Friedman CARCANET PRESS British Poetry Since I960: A Critical Survey, edited by Michael Schmidt and Grevel Lindop. 289 pp. Desert of the Lions, Michael Schmidt. 69 pp. The Spider's Touch, Michael Cayley. 64 pp. The Peace and the Hook. Peter Jones. 60 pp. Under the Penthouse, Val Warner. 76 pp. Day of Sirens, Margaret Newlin. 56 pp. In an Emergency. Daniel Weissbort. 63 pp. Selected Poems, Natalya Gorbanevskaya. Edited and introduced by Daniel Weissbort. 156 pp. Wi the Haill Voice; twenty five poems by Vladimir Mayakovsky translated into Scots with a glossary by Edwin Morgan. 93 pp. From Glasgow to Saturn, Edwin Morgan. 96 pp. (Carcanet Press books are distributed in the U.S.A. by Dufour Editions Inc., Chester Springs, Pennsylvania 19425.) Surveying the recent proliferation of small publishing ventures in Britain, Michael Schmidt, the founder of Carcanet. Press, wryly remarks that 'poets have seldom had a better chance to be published - and a worse opportunity for being read seriously'. Such a statement hardly needs any further elucidation. If it is true one condition is the inevitable 164 result of the other. We have a poetry glut and it is presumably one of the factors that led Carcanet to enter the field of .-riticism with an extensive critical survey of /ir'f/>/i Poetry Since IiMiO. Another could be the insistent, nagging urge to identify, define, and defend British poetry against hostility and indifference. At a time when Robert Lowell is the poet whose work is best known in England, and hundreds of people flock to hear Duncan, Oppen, BIy, and Berrigan read their poems in London, such a task may be as important as it is difficult. It's no surprise to find Schmidt working his way to this end by first confronting the real enemy - the American Poet! In his Introduction to these essays on individual poets and schools he concludes 1 11th of whom he quotes, Schmidt has an acute sense of South American history in the tragic encounter between F.uropenns and Indians. U is ¡in exotic and dramatic history, a clash of antithetical cultures rather than the slow evolution of a stable society, leading nt last to extinction and silence: Monks took the choice spots. but sent to Spain reports of .irid desert rrjtr,-.¡t ,, implying dniinürous lions were This d>-st;rt provided ample pence to bring inquisitions without prurient eyes. H^re, hound, Indians who could not sav the Creed Wf;r,r brouyht for instruction, with them ;l i.-ii mild gods of furrow, maizei :xotctse for 'the primacy of intimate, small-scale personal...


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