These poems exhibit a curious and uncommon blending of sensuality and compassion, of wit and insight, of magic and irony. The series of poems in which Hopkins explores the complex and puzzling relationships between men and women in the mid-twentieth century is, as a critic once pointed out, in the old great style of love poetry . . . but the author s observation and psychology are his own, and so are his phrases. They are related to the present time with the same precision as to psychology and the tradition. "