In this collection of previously published essays, poet and critic Taylor praises the vitality and diversity of contemporary American poetry by examining the poetic technique and development of 17 recent American poets from J.V. Cunningham to James Wright. Each essay locates the style of a particular poet in his or her earliest works and traces the evolution of that style to later, more definitive poems. Although the book lacks an introductory chapter, which might have helped us understand why Taylor chooses as "recent" poets those whose reputation was largely achieved 20 years ago or why he includes only two women poets--Gwendolyn Brooks and May Sarton--these essays are gracious and graceful enough to encourage the reader to rediscover the beauty and wonder of the poetic craft. Recommended for libraries with large poetry collections.