5 SEPTEMBER 1958, Page 24

Forms of Assurance

A Sense of the World: Poems. By Elizabeth Jennings. (Andre Deutsch, 10s. 6d.) THIS is Elizabeth Jennings's third I and it is her best. Rhythmical mo occasionally inpenetrable abstrac some of her earlier work—have With great assurance and wisdon sense penetrates the minds and na strangers, lovers, saints and chit is nothing cocksure or knowing at ance. Her best poems—such as Shot,' 'A Fear'—have a sense of s poem becomes a mysterious disc is not vague either, for,her langu! always been distinguished for i gathered strength and pithiness, a of the individual image is now plete as her manipulation of the e

I have read and heard criticism < and restraint of Miss Jennings's past, as if there were some virtue Let no one be deceived: she because Lightest things in the mi nd

Go deep at last and can never Be planned or weighed or lightly Considered or set apart.

'Sensitive,' restrained,"pure'—t much use as commendatory adjet because they can too easily sug, Miss Jennings's poetry is not insi excitement, the visionary qualit! search and sudden discovery. For is one of the two best living Engli forty-five (the other is Philip Lar age-division is not as arbitrary a! and is certainly clearer than any

book of poems, inotony and an tion—faults in now vanished. 1, her intuitive tures of places, iren; yet there )out this assur- `Ghosts,"The trangeness; the overy. Yet she age (which has is purity) has nd her control almost as com- ;tended one. A the quietness poetry in the in mere noise. speaks quietly hese are not :fives, I know, gest insipidity. pid. It has the y, of arduous my money, she sh poets under 'kin); and that s it may look, waffling about `the younger poets.' Miss Jennings is not unrecog- nised; each of her previous books has won a major literary award. But some people tend— perhaps rightly—to be cynical about prizes, and it would be a pity if A Sense of the World were not recognised as something important in itself : the flowering of an outstanding talent.