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THE fate of many poets is to wrap their choice verses in collections of mediocre merit. To this rule, Miss Letts' latest publication is no exception. The mass of the poems harps rather vaguely on the conventional emotions which fill the crannies of men's minds. Mildly pesimistic warbles of the lovelorn, or the all-suffering optimism of toil-worn drudges, and the respectable melancholia of discontented city-folk receive a great deal of attention. As a safety valve for vague emotions, this poetry is pleasingly comfortable for its portrays little more than an armchair attitude toward life.
Against this becushioned background, a few of the poems stand out with humorous, cynical, and even philosophical vividness. Most noteworthy is "The Rebel," an answering epic to the challenge of the pot of Omar Khayyam.
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
What! did the hand then of the potter shake?"
The reply, it is true, has not the biting brevity of the Persian's indictment;--still the answer combines rather prettily the essentially incompatible triad of poetry, philosophy, and theology.
The pipe-smoking, date-making collegian will also appreciate the following, summer fantasy:
"No night in Heaven!--Ah! he did not know,
That worn old Eastern saint, the tender glow
Of summer evenings in the happy West. . . .
He had not envied lovers as they stray
About the dusty lanes, where, starry white,
The dog-rose throws her garlands for delight.
If he could know, as we, beloved, know
Twilight and harvest moon, he too would pray,
Morning and noon are good but night is best--
Maker of stars! Oh! give us back the night!'"
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