Books: Bright Essence

OF POETRY AND POWER, edited by Erwin A. Glikes and Paul Schwaber. 155 pages. Basic Books. $5.95.

A month before he was assassinated, President Kennedy took time out to comment on poetry at the dedication of the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College: "When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses." The poets have now repaid the compliment. Not since Lincoln's assassination has an American's...

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