12 JULY 1957, Page 8

I HAVE LONG admired the Sunday Times's habit of supplying

its readers with one gem of English poetry per week printed in magnificent italic on its centre page. Last Sunday's pabulum was 'The Gyres,' by W. B. Yeats, but acquaintance with this poet evidently has its limits in Kemsley House. In a footnote to the first line—`The gyres! The gyres! Old Rocky Face, look forth;' —we are told that Rocky Face means the Delphic Oracle, whereas a reading of an earlier poem, 'The Second Coming,' shows that what was meant was something more like the Sphinx, 'a shape with lion body and the head of a man.' Cul- ture is a splendid thing—especially when you get it right.