From the beginning Francis Webb has sought that ‘so tender voyaging line of truth’, single-mindedly, and with a somewhat disconcerting unawareness of the fashionable poetry of his time. He has been concerned with the same tragic problems as Rilke, Eliot, Pasternak and, to mention a contemporary who presents a close parallel, Robert Lowell. I cannot, after long mediation on his verse, place his achievement on a level lower than that suggested by these names.

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