"Although Housman's three collections of poems, the third published posthumously, have remained continuously popular, they have not received much serious critical attention. John Bayley makes good the omission in this thorough and comprehensive re-appraisal of the whole oeuvre, placing Housman's achievement in the context of the poetry of his own time and of more recent European and American poetry. Close analysis and comparison with other poets--Hardy, Frost, Edward Thomas, Larkin, and Paul Celan--prove illuminating in relation to a poet who has usually been considered something of an odd man out, and even an anachronism in the modern era. Professor Bayley explores and explains the continuing appeal of the poetry to present-day readers, and the nature of the craftsmanship and psychology which lie behind its deceptive simplicities. The book will be a valuable introduction to Housman's achievement for the specialist and the poetry-lover alike."--BOOK JACKET.