Critical Overview

(Poetry for Students)

In the New York Times Book Review, Karl Shapiro wrote that “[Swenson’s] concentration on the verbal equivalent of experience is so true, so often brilliant, that one watches her with hope and pleasure, praying for victory all the way.” Dave Smith, in Poetr declared that “May Swenson transforms the ordinary little-scrutinized world to a teeming, flying first creation—she is a poet we want in this world for this world is in her as it is in few among us ever.” The transformation Smith refers to becomes active in “Southbound on the Freeway,” as Swenson lends her scrutinizing eye to what a car really represents.

(The entire section is 106 words.)