Books: Prize Pies

THE AURORAS OF AUTUMN—Wallace Stevens—Knopf ($3).

Is a poet trying to tell you something? Or is he just muttering to himself? On the muddy banks between the clear running stream of communication and the swamp of self-expression squats a swarm of modern poets, patting mud-pies into shape for the admiration of themselves and their playmates. The much larger crowd of regular guys in the swimming hole jeer at these patty-cakers as sissies, but stand a little in awe of them too, seeing how cleverly they mold their incomprehensible mud images.

By definition (he is a business success, therefore he is normal), Wallace Stevens...

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