Many of the poems are set in a recognizable epoch, those years of World War II, on the home front, and after. Notable in these poems is a high sense of loss that has been rendered tenable by the kind of lyric narrative that Yeats knew so well. The poet affirms for us the passing of the many things we never really held, though we may have thought we did. These poems are not talking poems. They sing. They chant. They leave indelible tracks across our eyes. The book begins with a kind of quiet precision found in Emily Dickinson, moves into haunting narrative lyrics, and ends in the realm of the hard history of self and place. And everywhere there is evidence of the poet's compassion, without evidence of the poet himself.