accounts for the choice of two of Mr. Eliot's cat-poems in all their heavy-handed agility and avuncular light-heartedness for two easy, occasional and uncharacter- istic poems of William Empson's and for a lot of very intelligible but not equally distinguished work by writers such as Herbert Read, Clifford Dyment, Rex Warner, Christopher Hassall, Michael Roberts, John Pudney and John Lehmann. There are some notable omissions: one, for instance, is Robert Graves. However, Mr. Bebbington's choice has the merit of giving a pretty fair sample of the state of English verse between about 1930 and 1944, and if parts of the sample are dreary they are none the less representative for that. London Gallery Editions begins a new series of recent French poetry, printed on fine pre-war paper, with a booklet of seventeen new poems by the Surrealist poet-in-chief, Paul Eluard, and a booklet of Dadaist manifestations by E. L. T. Mesens, .one-time musician, now turned painter, poet and editor. It is a lessen in the hardiness of human endeavours to see that Dada still survives. Eluard is in Occupied France, and although an introductory note to this booklet by Mr. Messens scorns the notion that his poems could be thought patriotic or propagandistic, quoting in alleged support a few gesticulating lines of Eluard's on the hackneyed theme of the hateful bourgeois, still the best poems are those touched with the present state of France-as this one (though to my taste it would be all the better for a few bourgeois commas) Dresse Par La Famine Dresse par la famine L'enfant repond toujours je mange Viens-tu je mange Dors-tu je mange. The first poem in the booklet, which is typical of Eluard's manner of writing, has in fact been successfully put to propaganda purposes in North Africa and elsewhere. It is a long address to Liberte, beginning: Sur mes cahiers d'ecolier Sur mon pupitre et les arbres Sur le sable sur la neige J'ecris ton nom and so continuing through successive objects, like a pagan prayer to a Rain-god. The difference is that the tribes who chanted to their Rain-god knew exactly what they wanted and had a positive feeling for the god who would give it to them, whereas Eluard offers neither the knowledge nor the positive feeling. Liberty is not a god it is a vague and negative idea, unless an answer is provided to the question Liberty for what ? Surrealism is against taking on responsibilities and so provides no answer; nor to the equally leading questions of how and where to find and keep liberty. Fairly literal translations accompany these poems which have the effect of destroying whatever links of feeling there may be between Eluard's separate images. Surrealism always seems more plausible in a foreign language. ALAN HODGE. OBSERVATIONS UPON "POEMS CHIEFLY CORNISH" by A. L. ROWSE (Faber) 6s. Personal taste and predilection necessarily influence the nature of any evaluation of individual poetry and this must apply with especial force where the observer is concerned with contemporary work. That some find much of this contemporary work unattractive, banal or boring is rightly considered to evidence no more than a personal reaction on their part. That I should find certain sources of the inspiration behind A. L. Rowse's work to be much akin to those from which my own emotions spring and consequently of deep attraction should be considered equally so. This volume of verse deepens the impression left upon me by A.L.R.'s previous book, the impression that we must, and could-and ought to-expect a great deal more than we were there given by him. This second volume too, is a delight, but not a satisfactory resolution to the contradiction within A.L.R.'s inspirational sympathies.