The Winning volume in the 1972 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition is a collection of richly anecdotal, lyric poems. Robert Hass writes about the California coast, about birds, fish, books, friends, presents sensations, and the impingements of the past upon the present. Running through the book is a core of love poems, mainly domestic, which muse on the natural order that the affections try to establish even within the wilderness of history and political violence.
Stanley Kunitz, the judge of the competition, calls this year's selection "a big, strong-hearted, earthy book, in the America epic tradition of Whitman and Neruda. Hass is a wonderfully informed young man, a waking history, with abounding affection for the natural universe, including some humans, and with an imagination that spans the whole continent, from Buffalo to the Pacific."
"The Yale Series of Younger Poets remains the most prestigious [of poetry contests]."—Library Journal