Books: Love Withheld

NEW NEGRO POETS: USA edited by Langston Hughes. 127 pages. Indiana University Press. $4.95.

"Every Negro poet has 'something to say,' " wrote Gwendolyn Brooks in 1950, hanging out a precarious shingle for all her Negro colleagues. "Simply because he is a Negro, he cannot escape having some important things to say." This same claim is invoked in the foreword to this collection of 37 new Negro poets, but what the book proves is happily quite the opposite: it is because they are poets, not Negroes, that they have something to say.

The poets are all young, but none of them seems to...

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