highly influenced by the Southern NewrnCritics, only to adopt freer forms andrnmore confessional content in his laterrnand better known work. A similar developmentrnoccurred in the verse of RobertrnPenn Warren, who was 11 years olderrnthan Eaton, and James Wright, who wasrn11 years younger. As Thomas Swiss notedrnin reviewing Eaton’s New and SelectedrnPoems (1987) for the Sewanee Review,rnEaton “is more likely to write about art orrnanimals than the people he has known.rnWhen he does write about people, it isrnusually in a generalized way. . . . Hisrncharacters tend to be types, examples inrnthe poem to explore ideas and themesrnranging from asceticism to human greedrnand lust.” Although sensuality is a frequentrntopic in Eaton’s poems, it is a sensualityrnrecollected in tranquillity.rnThe second poem in The Fox and I,rn”African Afternoons,” is a typically Eatonianrntreatment of passion. The poemrnseems to compare a bored lover with arnbig-game hunter who has tired of hisrnsport and longs only for “a time of lyingrndown beneath the trees with nothingrnthrilling left to do.” His woman, however,rnis like the lioness who will rise “golden,rnburnished, from the tallest grass,”rnwhether he wants her to or not. ThernAfrican metaphor helps to convey thernsense of conflict, danger, and exasperationrnthat are all latent in the relationshiprnof this man and woman. But thernmetaphor also distances us from an immediaternapprehension of these emotions.rnAn additional distance is effectedrnby Eaton’s reference to the lover in thernsecond rather than the first person. Still,rnwe think we understand what is goingrnon, until we get to the last stanza wherernwe discover that “you” is not a satiatedrnhunter, after all, but “still the unfed cubrnwho needs some practice as a lover.”rnWallace Stevens’ influence onrnEaton’s vision is evident in “Antinomiesrnfor Vulcan.” The poem begins in thernimperative mood:rnPut a bronze nude in a roomrnthat is red.rnRed walls, red rug, carnationsrnon a table.rnSo that it says to anyone toornwhite of mind: Drop dead.rnIf Frost and Stevens have been obviousrninfluences on Eaton’s career, hisrnidentity as a Southerner suggests that hernmay also have been influenced by thernNashville Fugitives. He has written perceptivelyrnand sympathetically aboutrnDonald Davidson, while the style, tone,rnand diction of his verse bespeak an affinityrnwith Allen Tate. Like the Fugitives, atrnleast in their “New Critical” phase,rnEaton seems to admire the metaphysicalrnpoet’s use of the controlling metaphor.rnOften Eaton employs this device withrngrace and tact. (One thinks of his comparisonrnof a porch swing and a Venetianrngondola in “Front Porch Glider.”) Onrnoccasion, however, the comparison willrnbe so strained as to remind one of thernmetaphysical conceit at its worst.rnEaton’s equation of a redneck with arnbook, complete with ink for blood, fallsrninto this category.rnBecause of his craftsmanship, his integrity,rnand his sheer productivity in a careerrnthat has spanned more than fiverndecades, Charles Edward Eaton hasrnearned the respect of fellow poets andrnthe praise of thoughtful critics. He hasrnwon several prizes, and his work continuesrnto appear in a wide variety of magazines,rnincluding Chronicles. At the samerntime, Eaton’s virtues are not ones that arernlikely to attract a large audience for hisrnverse or to expand the diminishing audiencernfor poetry in general. Joseph Epsteinrnonce described W. SomersetrnMaugham’s Of Human Bondage as “thernbest nineteenth-century novel writtenrnwell into the twentieth century.”rnCharles Edward Eaton may yet producernthe best early modernist verse to be writtenrnwell into the 21st century.rnIf American poetry is even to have a futurernin the 21st century, its direction isrnlikely to be influenced by the contributorsrnto Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the NewrnFormalism. The first question one mightrnask upon picking up this volume is:rn”What is new about the new formalism?”rnEven as free verse was coming to dominaternAmerican poetry in the years afterrnWorld War II, a few older poets wererncontinuing to write in traditional forms.rnIn their preface to Rebel Angels, MarkrnJarman and David Mason cite J.V. Cunningham,rnAnthony Hecht, Howard Nemerov,rnRichard Wilbur, X.J. Kennedy,rnand Mona Van Duyn. (One could addrnCharles Edward Eaton to the list.) Ifrnthese paleoformalists are conservative inrnhaving held their ground against changingrnliterary fashions, the younger new formalistsrnare reactionary in having laidrnclaim to an older patrimony. None ofrnthe 25 “rebel angels” was born beforern1940, while the youngest (Rachel Wetzsteon)rnturns 30 this year. “Not only wasrnthe America they inhabited radically differentrnfrom that of the 30’s and 40’s,”rnwrite Jarman and Mason, “but the literatiirernthat surrounded them had few ties torntiadition… . Young poets were schooledrnto be unschooled. Learning and artificernwere regarded as politically suspect matters.rnAmerican poetry had entered anotherrnromantic phase, like a late adolescence.”rnWhile the rebel angels are united byrntheir use of formal prosody, they are toorndiverse in subject matter and sensibilityrnto constitute a movement in the samernsense that the Imaginists and Fugitivesrndid. There are actually several differentrntrends and impulses subsumed underrnthe rubric of the new formalism. Poetsrnsuch as Julia Alvarez and Marilyn Hackerrnmight be classified as confessional poetsrnwho use traditional forms to conveyrnvery personal emotions. Even those newrnformalists who are not obviously autobiographicalrnshun the indirection and reservernthat we associate with modernistrnaesthefics. It would seem that no topic isrntoo indecorous to be legislated out of poetry.rnAmong those included in this volumernare mastectomies, orgasms (bothrnfaked and real), oral sex, various communicablerndiseases, crucifixion, hemorrhoids,rnand flatulence. (Tom Disch’srn”The Rapist’s Villanelle” may be the ultimaterntitie of a new formalist poem.) Inrnthe verse of Raphael Campo and MarilynrnHacker, the homoerotic muse is inrnoverdrive.rnAlong with the confessional formalists,rnone finds narrative poets such asrnFrederick Turner, Andrew Hudgins,rnDana Gioia, Mary Jo Salter, and SydneyrnLea. Although Rebel Angels is too crowdedrna volume to accommodate Turner’srnlonger narratives (he is represented herernby three short poems), the storytellingrnskills of the other narrativists are shownrnto good advantage. In “Saints andrnStrangers,” Andrew Hudgins paints arnsurprisingly sympathetic portrait of anrnevangelist from the perspective of hisrndaughter. (Hudgins has also written arnbook-length narrative treatment of thernCivil War and its aftermath.) DanarnGioia’s “Counting the Children,” whichrnwas recently choreographed by a SanrnFrancisco dance company, tells the storyrnof a Chinese-American accountant whornstands outside his daughter’s bedroomrndoor contemplating “the loneliness thatrnwe call love.” (The autobiographical expectationrnis so deeply ingrained in con-rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn