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Shelf LifeI find it difficult to overpraise the ease of this writing, which in one act combines succinct physical presentation and explanation of it. . . . It is perhaps here that Jim Powell, not yet forty, most shows his superiority to many of his contemporaries and seniors. He not only understands the way in which opposites are necessary to one another, he achieves his knowledge in the poem, and so we grasp it as we read. In the meeting of opposites—whether of disease and health or of sea-fog and branches or of Circe and Odysseus—he has tapped a subject matter that is endless and important, and by the thoroughgoingness and the subtlety of his exploration shows he has the power to do almost anything.
— Thom Gunn