A superb writer on myth, middle age and marital love; a maker of odes and elegies in ancient style; a poet of seascapes and cityscapes; a taker of romantic risks: this English poet shows all his talents in this important (and bulky) collection, which folds in most or all of eight previous books, from A Brightness to Cast Shadows (1980) through Something for the Ghosts (2002). Constantine's vivid sentences (many in, or near, blank verse) can encompass panoramic descriptions, but also contract into self- sufficient simplicity: "I should not be dreaming of you like this," one poem begins; another, more painful, ends "Everything whirls in luck, the bad, the good." The collection also includes Caspar Hauser, Constantine's 1994 book-length poem about the mysterious German boy imprisoned throughout his childhood, who became a popular wonder once freed. Constantine (who taught for years at Oxford) has a considerable reputation as a translator and scholar of German literature, and his knowledge in those fields comes to good use. More openly emotional, even more daring, than other Britons of his generation, Constantine should please many fans of Seamus Heaney, or of Derek Walcott. Overseas, some call him a poet's poet; Americans can now see if they agree. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.