The Spyglass, Views and Reviews, 1924-1930: Selected and Edited by John Tyree Fain

By Donald Davidson | Go to book overview

John Crowe Ransom


Spyglass January 23, 1927

John Crowe Ransom new book of poetry, Two Gentlemen in Bonds, has come from the press much earlier than was expected. It is on the bookstands now, and unless the proprietors have made unusually large orders, I daresay they will quickly find the need of replenishing their stock. The unexpected early appearance of the book does not permit a full comment to be made at this time, for Mr. Ransom's work is not of the sort that can be considered hastily. But in brief I may here record my impression that the new book shows that Mr. Ransom has refined and perfected his art into an instrument flexible and apt to all demands put on it, and that the application of this fine craftsmanship to his materials gives again, probably even more than in his first two books, a poetry satisfying in the clear, warm, and beautiful finality with which it touches its subjects. The verse is quiet, but it has a glow of deep fires within; the utterance is strange, but it represents a personal idiom that is inseparable from the art and that makes Mr. Ransom unique, not merely among American but among all poets. I make no apologies for appearing as an insistent advocate, and I herewith record my opinion that, of the contemporary American poets, Mr. Ransom is one of the few who will meet the ultimate tests.

-105-

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