This is a collection including poems from Christopher Merrill's first two books as well as later poems. It concludes with his exquisite long poem 'Luck', which begins "For those not born to wealth or royalty, / Luck's a language learned by fits and starts". Merrill treats the fickleness of fate -- and humanity's attempts to define fate -- with both poignancy and humour. His imagery enters the mind like a new dialect, not with trite or cliched metaphors, but startling and uncommon word pictures that heighten the mood as well as the senses, such as in 'The Rope': "Your eyes, when you turn away, burn black -- before you disappear, / leaving on the sidewalk a trail of charcoal". Merrill's art is for those who love uniqueness in poetry.