17 AUGUST 1944, Page 18

Poems. By David Bourne. (Lane. 75. 6d.)

A GLIMPSE into the workshop of a talented young poet is always of interest, especially when the craftsman has so sensitive and receptive a spirit as David Bourne. We cannot, alas, know how he may have developed, for he was killed in flying operations at the age of twenty. Of some 140 poems that he wrote, a selection now appears for the first time. He had not a mind of any very great originality or penetration—nature is beautiful, he is ecstatically in love, he explores life (with a capital L) with a wide-eyed integrity and boundless enthusiasm, he knows both the excitement and the horrors of the air war. His style—still experimental one feels—is varied, he can write with restrained tenderness or burst into an " exercise in horrible words." He has all the devotion and verve of the fighter pilot swooping to attack ; sometimes the right phrase takes successful evasive action, but more often the result is a satisfying little poem with a winning and attractive freshness.