The Value Of Criticism by Christopher Morley

Story type: EssayOur friend Dove Dulcet, the well-known sub-caliber poet, has recently issued a slender volume of verses called Peanut Butter. He thinks we may be interes …

Story type: Essay

Our friend Dove Dulcet, the well-known sub-caliber poet, has recently issued a slender volume of verses called Peanut Butter. He thinks we may be interested to see the comment of the press on his book. We don’t know why he should think so, but anyway here are some of the reviews:

Buffalo Lens: Mr. Dulcet is a sweet singer, and we could only wish there were twice as many of these delicately rhymed fancies. There is not a poem in the book that does not exhibit a tender grasp of the beautiful homely emotions. Perhaps the least successful, however, is that entitled “On Losing a Latchkey.”

Syracuse Hammer and Tongs: This little book of savage satires will rather dismay the simple-minded reader. Into the acid vials of his song Mr. Dulcet has poured a bitter cynicism. He seems to us to be an irremediable pessimist, a man of brutal and embittered life. In one poem, however, he does soar to a very fine imaginative height. This is the ode “On Losing a Latchkey,” which is worth all the rest of the pieces put together.

New York Reaping Hook: It is odd that Mr. Dove Dulcet, of Philadelphia we believe should have been able to find a publisher for this volume. These queer little doggerels have an instinctive affinity for oblivion, and they will soon coalesce with the driftwood of the literary Sargasso Sea. Among many bad things we can hardly remember ever to have seen anything worse than “On Losing a Latchkey.”

Philadelphia Prism: Our gifted fellow townsman, Mr. Dove Dulcet, has once more demonstrated his ability to set humble themes in entrancing measures. He calls his book Peanut Butter. A title chosen with rare discernment, for the little volume has all the savor and nourishing properties of that palatable delicacy. We wish there were space to quote “On Losing a Latchkey,” for it expresses a common human experience in language of haunting melody and witty brevity. How rare it is to find a poet with such metrical skill who is content to handle the minor themes of life in this mood of delicious pleasantry. The only failure in the book is the banal sonnet entitled “On Raiding the Ice Box.” This we would be content to forego.

Pittsburgh Cylinder: It is a relief to meet one poet who deals with really exalted themes. We are profoundly weary of the myriad versifiers who strum the so-called lowly and domestic themes. Mr. Dulcet, however, in his superb free verse, has scaled olympian heights, disdaining the customary twaddling topics of the rhymesters. Such an amazing allegory as “On Raiding the Ice Box,” which deals, of course, with the experience of a man who attempts to explore the mind of an elderly Boston spinster, marks this powerful poet as a man of unusual satirical and philosophical depth.

Boston Penseroso: We find Mr. Dove Dulcet’s new book rather baffling. We take his poem “On Raiding the Ice Box” to be a paean in honor of the discovery of the North Pole; but such a poem as “On Losing a Latchkey,” is quite inscrutable. Our guess is that it is an intricate psycho-analysis of a pathological case of amnesia. Our own taste is more for the verse that deals with the gentler emotions of every day, but there can be no doubt that Mr. Dulcet is an artist to be reckoned with.

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