by Vidagdha Meredith Bennett (Ph.D.)

Every age calls forth its poet, someone who is able to express its deepest ideals and aspirations. The critic who first engages in the appraisal of this newly emergent poet is faced with vastly different responsibilities from the critic who deals with writers of an established excellence. Beyond his direct response to this promising new body of literature lies the task of creating a climate of empathy in which the poems may be received by future readers and commentators. The critic cannot fall prey to hesitation at this early stage. He must make a bold case for his choice, one that may move others to turn to the poetry and which may also serve as a point of departure for further critical studies. And, gradually, with the passage of time and the accumulation of diverse viewpoints, a perception of the intrinsic worth of the poet may begin to mature in the public consciousness.

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