Critical and biographical information on Henry Reed, World War II British poet, critic, translator, and radio dramatist — author of "Naming of Parts"
Henry Reed, poet and radio dramatist
The Poetry of Henry Reed Homepage
Deutsch, Babette. Review of A Map of Verona, by Henry Reed. Tomorrow 8, no. 2 (October 1948): 58-59 [59] (.pdf).

Excerpt from Books

and other poems
by Henry Reed
Reviewed by Babette Deutsch

Mr. Reed, a British poet, is also capable of multiple meanings, as his arresting "Lessons of the War" shows. Much of his verse, however, is weakened by a melodiousness that recalls Aiken's more cloying cadences. He pokes fun at Eliot in a rather heavy parody called "Chard Whitlow," and one wonders whether this wry treatment is not that of an unwilling pupil rebelling against his master, for other pages carry distinct echoes of Eliot's later manner. Unfortunately, Mr. Reed has not learned his lesson well. There is something curiously middle-aged about his poems, something almost Georgian in his preoccupation with the figures of Greek legend and medieval story, though he attempts to give them contemporary significance. Even his allusions to Rimbaud and Moby Dick fail to give his work that particular quality of the here and now which would lift it out of the here and now. If one contrasts such pieces as "Outside and In" or "The Door and the Window" with Ransom's lyrics on similar themes, Mr. Reed's comparative colorlessness becomes more obvious. The poems tend to have a soporific quality, and although some exhibit a melancholy loveliness and the war poems a restrained power, the book as a whole wants just that brilliance of which Mr. Wilbur, if he is to develop as he should, must beware.

Reynal & Hitchcock, $2.50




Page last modified: 01 October 2016