Adolescent Caterwauling

E. Powys Mathers. Colored Stars. Boston, Houghton.

WE ARE informed that this is the one general anthology of Asiatic love poetry in the English language. Having read it carefully, we feel that another of the kind is hardly one of the crying needs of the world. Practically every piece in the collection celebrates lust in the extravagant terms of monomania. If this be Asiatic love, then to Orcus with Asiatic love! We say this from no Puritan standpoint. We thoroughly understand, having once been gloriously young and mad ourselves, that youthful passion is extravagant almost to the point of insanity at times. We believe that adolescence has its proper place in human life, and we want it represented in our literature: but we want it presented in its correct relation to the whole of life. Life is infinitely more than a youth chasing a girl in the moonlight.

Here we have a whole book full of maniacal sexlust; and in such large quantities, unrelated to life’s abiding and larger moods, it is quite disgusting. Nor can all the luxurious phrasing and the exquisite twaddle about stars redeem the book from disgust.

We feel it a duty to warn this chap that his product leads to the police court.

This book will be in vogue during the coming spring, for there is a poetry movement in America (led by spinsters) which specializes in this sort of thing. When shall we realize again that great poetry is objective and concerned with the whole of life in its just relations!