Return Again, Traveler

By Norman Rosten
MR. ROSTEN has written a long poem which consists of a series of pictures, first, of American history, and second, of the contemporary American scene. It is a lively and interesting book, written with energy and a real feeling tor the American idiom. Mr. Rosten presents his anecdotes with a vivacity that makes the reader share his own excitement. The poem is not an unqualified pæan of praise, however; it captures the mixture of enthusiasm and frustration which is part of the contemporary American character, and the irony which is the result of this mixture is highly effective. There are, to be sure, certain echoes of other poets in Mr. Rosten’s style, as Stephen Vincent Benét points out in his introduction. The feminine endings of MacLeish sometimes conceal Mr. Rosten’s own rhythm. But these become less frequent as the poem progresses, and the final impression is that of an energetic and possibly original talent. Readers of poetry will look forward with considerable interest to Mr. Rosten’s further writing. T. S.