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
Jarrell, Randall. "Verse Chronicle." Nation 166, no. 13 (27 March 1948): 360-361 [360].

Excerpt from Verse Chronicle

The English, with Auden in America, Graves in Majorca, and Empson in Peiping, haven't much of their own left but Thomas and MacNeice; a well-bred, knowledgeable intention of accomplishment is likely to go a surprisingly long way with them. This would explain their excitement over Henry Reed's A Map of Verona. Mr. Reed is a rather talented, rather pleasant poet, a little on the gray, passive, retrospective side, and a lot influenced by late Eliot. His typical poem is a sober trance, full of present participles and gently effective or ineffective phrases, about Tristram or Chrysothemis or Philoctetes or Antigone; while I was trying to sum them all up I remembered with joy:

He fell at Gettysburg or Fredericksburg,
I ought to know—it makes a difference which:
Fredericksburg wasn't Gettysburg, of course.

Compared to our bad young poets Mr. Reed is a controlled, civilized, attractive affair; but compared to the good ones—Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, say—he is a nap after dinner.

randall jarrell



Page last modified: 01 October 2016