Books: Mem-Sahib's Vision

MOOLTIKI: STORIES AND POEMS FROM INDIA (151 pp.)—Rumer Godden—Viking ($3.50).

This charming book consists of impressionistic sketches of the sprawling Asian subcontinent done in the pale pastel shades of life rather than its raw primary colors. Filtered through Author (Black Narcissus) Godden's genteel mem-sahib vision, India becomes a setting instead of a place, Hindus and Moslems become figures in a tapestry instead of people, and life moves to the lute strings of poetry instead of the purse strings of necessity. As a free versifier, Author Godden ranks somewhat below another run-of-the-pagoda poet, Emperor Hirohito:

In the meadow it is spring;

the sun warms and,...

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